Panic Attacks and Panic Disorder - Treatment Overview
reduces how many panic attacks you have and how often you have them. It lowers the anxiety you feel because of
the fear of future attacks. And it improves the quality of your life. Treatment includes:
Medicines, such as an antidepressant. To learn more, see Medications.
Home treatment, such as relaxation exercises. To learn more, see Home Treatment.
Unfortunately, many people don't
seek treatment for anxiety disorders. You may not seek treatment because you
think the symptoms aren't bad enough. Or maybe you think that you can work things out on your
own. But getting treatment is important.
Anxiety disorders are very strong fears that may be caused by physical or psychological stress.
Studies show that almost half of all patients with cancer say they feel some anxiety and about one-fourth of all patients with cancer say they feel a great deal of anxiety. Patients living with cancer find that they feel more or less anxiety at different times. A patient may become more anxious as cancer spreads or treatment becomes more intense.
For some patients feelings of anxiety may become overwhelming...
If you need help
deciding whether to see your doctor, see
some reasons why people don't get help and how to overcome them.
If your panic attacks were caused by a specific trigger, such as a
medicine reaction, you may not need treatment after the trigger has been
removed. In this case, that would mean stopping the medicine with the help of
But sometimes panic attacks caused by outside factors can continue
after the trigger has been removed. They may turn into panic disorder.
Panic attacks may also start suddenly without a known trigger.
Recurring panic attacks
You may have mild to severe panic attacks off and on for years, especially if you also
agoraphobia (avoiding places where you fear another
attack will occur).3
Even after treatment is
stopped because the attacks appear to be under control, attacks can suddenly
return. Learn your early warning signs and triggers so you can seek
panic attacks get too severe or happen too often, you
may need to be hospitalized until they are under control. You also may need a
brief hospital stay if you have panic attacks along with another health
condition, such as
depression. Panic attacks combined with these conditions can be
harder to treat.
An important part of ongoing treatment is making sure
that you are taking your medicine as prescribed. Often people who feel better after
using medicine for a period of time may believe they are "cured" and no longer
need treatment. But when medicine is stopped, symptoms usually return. So it's
important to continue the treatment plan.