Monday, December 18, 2017 1:35

Panic Disorder Treatment Options

Posted by on Monday, September 28, 2009, 15:20
This news item was posted in Panic Disorder category and has 0 Comments so far.

You can cure Panic Disorder. There are many treatments that work and almost everyone will eventually get better. Virtually every need and preference can be accommodated. Medications and psychotherapy, either alone or in combination, are very effective and fortunately there are lots of different medications and different psychotherapies.

Most of the antidepressant medications also block unexpected panic attacks, usually in the same doses that work for depression and after a period of three to sic weeks. Anxiety and agitation can be side effects of antidepressants medications especially in Panic Disorder patients who are very sensitive to these feelings. It is good to begin lower than would be the case in depression.

Anti Anxiety drugs like Xanax, Ativan, and Klonopin also reduce panic symptoms and have a much quicker effect usually within days. Unfortunately, these medications also have a serious disadvantage that drastically limits their long term usefulness. They are all potential addictive at the relatively high doses required to reliably block panic attacks. Once you start, it is very difficult ever to stop using these medications because their withdrawal symptoms perfectly mimic what it is like to have a panic attack.

One useful strategy that attempts to combine the best of both worlds is to begin treatment with very low doses of an antianxiety medication in combination with an antidepressant or psychotherapy. This provides some immediate relief until the antidepressant or psychotherapy has taken effect. The antianxiety medication can then be discontinued without provoking with drawl symptoms.

Medication and psychotherapy each have advantages and disadvantages. Medication works faster and requires less time, effort, and courage on your part but it May also have troublesome side effects. Furthermore, once started on a medication, you often need to stay on it indefinitely in order to keep from having future panic attacks.

Psychotherapy take longer to work initially and is more labor intensive. However, the techniques learned in therapy can be applied indefinitely so that remission is often maintained long after the therapy has ended. Some people may also feel more in control if they can avoid the need for medication. One sensible approach is to start medication and psychotherapy simultaneously and then gradually taper away te medication once the psychotherapy is taking hold and you are feeling better.

After you gain confidence that you are free of at least the worst of the panic symptoms, the target of treatment shifts to the agoraphobic avoidance that is such a common complication of panic attacks. The first step is educational explaining the causal relationship between the panic attacks and the situations that are avoided because of them.

Unfortunately, knowledge alone is not enough to accomplish behavioral change a good deal of work is needed as well. You have to reclaim the dangerous territories by entering them and making them safe once again. This cognitive behavioral therapy for phobias has an excellent track record in breaking the strangle hold of agoraphobia.

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