Panic Disorder Treatment: How Can It Help?

Panic Disorder Treatment

Panic attacks occur seemingly without warning, but can be influenced by consuming too much caffeine, exercising, and not getting enough sleep. However, if you’re struggling with panic disorder, you can have regular panic attacks despite following a routine that works for you. In this case, you may require a comprehensive panic disorder treatment to manage long-term symptoms.

How Is a Panic Disorder Different From Anxiety?

How Is Panic Disorder Different From Anxiety?

Panic and anxiety are closely associated and are often used interchangeably. However, both terms refer to similar yet separate events. For example, panic attacks or panic disorder is characterized by sudden and intense bouts of fear. These feelings activate the body’s fight-or-flight response to protect you from perceived danger, even if you are not in danger.

Compared to anxiety attacks, panic attacks tend to reach their peak and subside sooner because the body can’t maintain such a high state of arousal for long. But you may experience what is sometimes called a panic attack “hangover.” Despite the short length of these episodes, unexpected panic attacks are often alarming. They commonly mimic symptoms of medical emergencies such as a stroke or heart attack and cause you to feel like you’re losing control of your mind and body.

On the other hand, anxiety attacks are more often a result of worrying about future events. Thinking about or anticipating certain outcomes can trigger fear and stress. These feelings can be long-lasting but aren’t as severe because your body is in a lower state of arousal. These feelings can be easier to manage but can develop into panic disorder if they worsen. So, if panic attacks start to impact your daily functioning, it’s time to seek panic disorder treatment options.

What Can I Do to Manage My Panic Disorder Symptoms?

It’s not uncommon to experience occasional panic attacks in response to highly stressful events. For example, many people feel sick and restless and begin to sweat before giving a presentation. It’s normal to feel self-conscious or uncomfortable in situations that are unfamiliar to you or draw unwanted attention. But these brief episodes typically subside and don’t develop into lingering symptoms.

For people with panic disorder, these episodes can be a daily occurrence. Anxiety sensitivity or fear surrounding physical anxiety-related sensations contribute to the vicious cycle of panic disorder. This “fear of fear,” followed by unpleasant physical symptoms including sweating, shaking, and heart palpitations, can disrupt your daily life.

When you feel a panic attack coming on, some things you can do to manage your symptoms include:

  • Accepting your feelings and allowing them to pass instead of fighting them
  • Breathing slowly and deeply to regulate your nervous system
  • Staying positive and reminding yourself that it will pass
  • Closing your eyes and thinking about something calm and peaceful
  • Calling or talking to someone who makes you feel safe and supported

Incorporating breathing techniques, relaxing hobbies, regular exercise, and a healthy diet can minimize the occurrence of these attacks. However, you may need professional help if they don’t subside or are related to another mental health condition. Experiencing a traumatic event or having a close family member diagnosed with panic disorder may also increase your need for professional treatment. In these cases, your doctor can refer you to a mental health professional who will help you find the right panic disorder treatment.

How Can Panic Disorder Treatment Help You?

Panic disorder is highly treatable, and it’s possible to make a full recovery. But seeking treatment sooner rather than later can prevent your symptoms from becoming difficult to cope with. Individuals with panic disorder have an increased chance of developing additional anxiety disorders such as phobias, including agoraphobia, or problems with drugs and alcohol.

Unmanageable anxiety can interfere with your relationships, career, and overall wellness. Therefore, getting treatment as soon as possible is essential for helping you regain control of your life.

Panic Disorder Treatment Options

Panic Disorder Treatment Options

Springbrook Behavioral Hospital is a mental health treatment center located in Brooksville, Florida that provides treatment for panic disorder in adults. We utilize evidence-based treatment options to help patients learn a variety of short-term and long-term coping mechanisms to successfully manage their symptoms.

Tailored treatment plans are provided by a team of licensed mental health professionals through a variety of program types. Patients who require immersive or crisis care services benefit the most from our intensive treatment program. But patients with less severe symptoms or those who require more flexible treatment options can enroll in our partial hospitalization program (PHP). This outpatient panic disorder treatment program can also serve as a useful step down from inpatient care.

Patients who enroll in the treatment programs available at our treatment center can try a variety of therapeutic techniques and treatment methods. Below are a few methods patients benefit from the most.

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy or talk therapy is one of the most effective panic disorder treatment options. Although there are many types of psychotherapy used to treat anxiety disorders and their array of symptoms, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the most common. Cognitive behavioral therapy is effective for treating panic disorders because it focuses on the connection between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

With CBT, a mental health professional can help you identify and alter thought patterns and behaviors contributing to your anxiety. Panic attacks can occur without warning, but they are often related to certain fears or physical triggers. By addressing these fears and triggers, you can develop coping mechanisms and other healthy practices. As a result, you can reduce the occurrence and minimize the severity of panic attacks.

Medication

Medication is another effective panic disorder treatment method that often works best in combination with therapy. Anti-anxiety medications can help alleviate symptoms, but they don’t cause the disorder to go away. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) are the most common choices. These daily medications improve and stabilize neurotransmitter function, so you experience less frequent and severe bouts of anxiety.

However, some anxiety medications, such as benzodiazepine, are recommended only for short-term usage. This fast-acting medication can quickly stop panic attacks, but they also put you at a higher risk of drug abuse and addiction. These types of medication may not be the best choice for individuals struggling with dual diagnosis.

Finding which medication has the least amount of side effects and works best for you may require some trial and error. The first medication you try may not be the right one. You may also need to adjust your dosage a few times until you reach the desired effect. However, taking the time to improve your mental health is worth it.

Get Panic Disorder Treatment at Springbrook Behavioral Hospital

To learn more about how the panic disorder treatment options at Springbrook Behavioral Hospital can help you, call our admissions experts at 352-600-3288. You can also submit a confidential contact form online. Starting treatment today can help you overcome the underlying fears triggering your mental health problems. With the support and guidance of the staff at Springbrook Behavioral Hospital, you no longer have to worry about anxiety disrupting your day.

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