As the head of Salerno Medical Associates in New Jersey, Dr. Alexander Salerno offers integrated multidisciplinary care to a diverse patient population. Dr. Alexander Salerno also oversees the practice’s Community Healthcare Outreach Program (CHOP), which provides behavioral and medical care to older individuals in need.
Although many people experience worry and even panic on an occasional basis, some find that these feelings become so chronic that they interfere with everyday life. These individuals experience panic attacks that arise not only out of proportion to the current situation, but also with such intense fear that they prompt physical symptoms. Individuals with panic disorder often report feeling chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, or heart palpitations. They may shake, feel like they are choking, or experience a sense of unreality.
The intense somatic nature of these symptoms often makes people with panic disorder feel as though they are experiencing a medical emergency, such as a heart attack or a stroke. They may become so afraid of an attack recurrence that they begin to avoid certain situations and may begin to feel isolated. Fortunately, many people who experience panic disorder can find relief in the form of medication or psychotherapeutic interventions, such as cognitive behavioral therapy or exposure therapy.