How To Treat Panic Attacks And Disorders

The cause of panic attacks is not quite clear, so treatment might differ from individual to individual. Basically there are two major treatments for panic attacks which are; Psychological therapy and medication. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the attacks, you may need one of these two treatment options or a combination of the two.

If therapy doesn’t prove productive (it mostly does), then the therapist might recommend medication. No single treatment works for everyone and you may need to try a number of treatments before finding one that works for you. The treatment that’s recommended will depend on your general level of health, the severity of your condition and your personal preferences.
It’s important you understand what your treatment will involve, and if you don’t understand something your therapist has told you, ask them to explain it in more details.

Psychological Therapy

Psychological therapy or psychotherapy is considered an effective first choice treatment for panic attack and panic disorder. It often involves a lot of talking, between the therapist and the patient. The therapist tries to go deep into the patients past to try finding the link to his or her present plight. Psychological therapy can help you fully understand panic attacks and also teaches you how to manage and cope with it.
Like I mentioned above, the form of psychological therapy called cognitive behavioral therapy is what therapist use to help you learn through your own experience that panic symptoms are not dangerous.

The therapist may discuss with you how you react when you have a panic attack and what you think about when you’re experiencing an attack. Once you and your therapist have identified any negative thoughts and beliefs, you can work on replacing them with more realistic and balanced ones.

Your therapist can also teach you ways of changing your behavior, making it easier for you to deal with future panic attacks. For example, they may be able to show you breathing techniques that can be used to help keep you calm during a panic attack.

Seeing results from treatment can take time and effort. You may start to see panic attack symptoms reduce within several weeks and often, symptoms decrease significantly or go away within several months. You may schedule occasional maintenance visits, to help ensure that your panic attacks remain under control or to treat re-occurrences.


Medication can also come in handy in reducing panic attack symptoms. Most of these medicines also help in reducing depression, if that’s an issue, but most times, your therapist would advice you not to rely on them, viewing them more or less as a latter resort.

Below are some of the most efficient types of medication for panic attack symptoms:

• (SSRIs) Selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors. These are generally safe with a low risk of serious side effects. SSRI antidepressants are typically recommended as the first choice of medications for treating panic attacks. Some SSRIs approved by the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of panic disorder include fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva) and sertraline (Zoloft).
• Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). These medications are another class of antidepressants. The SNRI drug called venlafaxine hydrochloride (Effexor XR) is FDA approved for the treatment of panic disorder.

• Benzodiazepines. These sedatives are central nervous system depressants. Benzodiazepines may be habit-forming, causing mental or physical dependence, especially when taken for a long time or in high doses. Benzodiazepines approved by the FDA for the treatment of panic disorder include alprazolam (Xanax) and clonazepam (Klonopin). If you seek care in an emergency room for a panic attack, you may be given a benzodiazepine to help stop the attack.

Benzodiazepines are generally used only on a short-term basis. Because they can be habit-forming, this tyype of medication isn’t a good choice if you’ve had problems with alcohol or drug abuse. They can also interact with other medications, causing dangerous side effects.


If one type of medication doesn’t work for you, your doctor might advise you to try others and in some cases, they might advise for you to combine two medications for quicker effects.
Keep in mind that it might take a couple of weeks an improvement. Also keep in mind that some of these drugs might have side effects, and you need to be cleared by a doctor before you start taking them. Whatever the case might be, a focus on psychotherapy remains the ideal option.

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