What is the Best Treatment for Panic Disorder?

Panic attacks occur when a person has an overwhelming feeling of anxiety or fear, whether it is warranted or unwarranted. In many cases of panic disorder, the person’s heart races and they often feel dizzy and nauseous, along with other symptoms. If treated, a person can deal effectively with their panic attacks and even lessen the number and the severity of the occurrences. In order to do that, though, it is important to know the best treatment for panic disorder.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

One way to treat panic disorder is through cognitive behavioral therapy. This is an effective treatment for panic disorder because it focuses on the person’s thinking patterns and the behaviors that contribute to the panic attacks. This type of therapy is done with a behavioral professional, and it looks at the fears that trigger these attacks realistically. As an example, it would explore the reasons why you fear certain actions, such as driving. The cognitive professional may help you explore the worst things that could happen and courses of actions to deal with those potential problems. As a result, the person suffering panic attacks often feels less fear than they would have felt without going through the therapy.

Exposure Therapy

This type of treatment for panic disorder may seem like a cruel way to deal with the situation, but it is very effective. In this treatment, the person is exposed to the things that they are afraid of but within a controlled and safe environment. For instance, if the patient has agoraphobia and they are afraid to leave their house, the professional treating the patient may force them to go out of their house and face their fears. In some cases, this may be for a short period of time with increasing intervals each time, or they may be exposed to their fear until they no longer feel the threats of having a panic attack.

Medication

In some extreme examples, medication may be the most effective treatment for panic disorder. Antidepressants are popular treatments for panic attacks, but it can take several weeks for these medications to take effect. This means that the sufferer must take the medication every day and not only when they feel a panic attack coming on. The other type of medication for panic attacks is benzodiazepines. These are anti-anxiety drugs which typically take about 30 to 60 minutes to start working. This is a quicker way to deal with panic attacks, but they can be highly addictive. As a result, they should not be taken without the supervision of a qualified professional.

If you want to find the most effective treatment for panic disorder, consult with a medical professional who has experience with this condition. Don’t try to treat it yourself, and don’t minimize it as something that’s “only in your head” because it can get much worse.