Many people suffer from panic attacks several times in a year – and it’s not just the panic attack that comes when you’re about to face a panel of job interviewers either. These panic attacks are truly frightening for the people who experience them and, thus, these have adverse impact on their lives. These are also characterized by severe physical reactions including the feeling of having a heart attack and losing control over your own body.
But the issues don’t end there either. If you have recurrent panic attacks, often coming in unexpected times or inappropriate places, then you may have panic disorder. You must seek medical opinion ASAP since panic attacks are treatable in the sense that their frequency, intensity and duration can be significantly reduced.
Here are the effective treatments for panic attacks. So stop panicking about your condition since help is on the way – or rather, you have to seek professional help and you must help yourself.
Prescription Medications Are an Option
Your doctor may recommend medications to reduce your panic attack symptoms as well as manage your depressive episodes, is these are also issues in your case. Like all prescription medications for mental health illnesses, you must discuss the risks and benefits of each medication before taking it. You should also be honest about your reactions to the medications, whether good or bad, so that adjustments can be made.
The most common medications are:
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are usually the first line of defense in panic attacks. These include paroxetine, fluoxetine, and sertraline, which are also prescribed for depression and manic disorders.
- Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) are also antidepressants.
- Benzodiazepines, such as alprazolam, are sedatives used as depressants for the central nervous system. These are only used on a short-term basis because of their habit-forming (i.e., addictive) nature, as well as cannot be used by people who have drug and/or alcohol abuse issues. These are also prescription drugs because of the risks for dangerous side effects from drug interactions.
Your doctor will determine the best medication plan in your case so you have to work with him to achieve the right combo.
Psychotherapy Is Necessary
Regardless of whether you’re on medication or not for panic attacks, you will benefit from psychotherapy. This is just talk therapy with a psychotherapist wherein you will learn effective strategies to prevent and cope with your panic attacks.
Be patient as even a combination of medications and psychotherapy will take time, energy and effort before positive results can be experienced. Even after your panic attacks are under control, you may still be instructed to follow a maintenance schedule to sustain your gains.