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How to Treat Panic Attacks - Some Options to Consider

Posted Oct 07 2009 4:41pm


One of the most terrifying experiences is a panic attack. It will happen when you least expect it and before it is finished you will be reduced to a terrified, trembling, shaking piece of flesh, totally unable to control your thoughts.  Ask anyone with this condition and you will hear many of them say that they would give anything to discover how to treat panic attacks. 

See Your Doctor

If you suddenly begin experiencing panic attacks, don´t wait; get an appointment with your doctor. It is very important for your doctor to run tests and eliminate any physical problem that could be causing your attacks. The easiest way to treat a panic attack caused by a medical problem is to treat the disease. 

Medical Treatment

There are several medicines that can help relieve anxiety and fear and sometimes they can stop the panic attacks completely. Anti-depressants are a common way to treat them. There are two anti-depressants that have been approved for panic attacks:Paxil and Zoloft. These two are very effective in stopping the attacks. They can be taken indefinitely without serious side effects.
Xanax and Klonopin have also been approved for relieving anxiety and fear. These are different from the first two in that they can only be used for a short period of time, usually no longer than two months. If you need to stop taking these, be sure to taper off slowly under your doctor´s supervision. Under no circumstance should you just stop.

Seek Counseling

Counseling therapies are an effective way to treat panic attacks naturally without medication. Counseling usually takes longer to stop the attacks than an approach using medicine, but it will teach you how to treat panic attacks.  You will work together with your therapist to identify exactly what is causing your attacks and then look for a way to alleviate the cause.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy is one of the most effective ways of controlling or stopping panic attacks. In this type of therapy the therapist looks for the causes of the attacks, and then helps the person replace the responses they are having to the causes with more acceptable behavior. The effect of this therapy lasts the longest.  It helps the patient replace thoughts such as “I´m going crazy” or “I´m going to die” with positive thoughts. This helps to eliminate the fear aspect of the attack. Once you deal with the fear associated with the panic attack you will be on your way to learning how to treat panic attacks.

Interoceptive Exposure Therapy is another type of counseling where the therapist intentionally causes the patient to have a panic attack so he or she can show the patient no harm will come to them and that they have nothing to fear. 

Combination Treatment
When a person begins to seek help in order to learn how to treat panic attacks, they often need medication to deal with the anxiety they are facing. As a result many people discover that the most effective treatment is a combination treatment using both medication and counseling. The medication gives the patient relief from the attacks while the therapist seeks to help them understand that nothing will harm them, and teaches them how to react in a different way when they feel an attack is coming on. Some therapists and even those who have successfully dealt with panic attacks themselves may recommend methods, such as PanicAway or the Linden Method that might also help you.

By: D. More

Suffering from Panic Attacks is pure hell — I know!
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