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How can counseling help with panic attacks?

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The treatment may begin with “talk therapy.” You’ll sit down with a counselor who can help you understand what panic disorder is and how you can manage it. As your treatment continues, therapy should help you figure out the situations, thoughts, or feelings that cause your attacks. Once you understand what’s happening, those triggers have less power to cause trouble. Counseling should also show you that the attacks’ physical effects don’t actually hurt you. With your therapist, you’ll work through your symptoms in a safe, gradual way until they seem less scary. That also can help make the attacks go away. You’ll also learn relaxation techniques that can help you handle attacks when they do happen. If you can control your breathing, for instance, that may make a panic attack less severe. It might also make the next one less likely. You have to practice these skills regularly in your daily life to get the benefit.

SOURCES:

American Psychological Association: “Answers to Your Questions about Panic Disorder.”

Anxiety and Depression Association of America: “Panic Disorder & Agoraphobia.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Panic disorder.”

Mayo Clinic: “Panic attacks and panic disorder.”

National Institute of Mental Health (National Institutes of Health): “Anxiety disorders,” “Panic Disorder: When Fear Overwhelms.”

Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg on June 26, 2017

SOURCES:

American Psychological Association: “Answers to Your Questions about Panic Disorder.”

Anxiety and Depression Association of America: “Panic Disorder & Agoraphobia.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Panic disorder.”

Mayo Clinic: “Panic attacks and panic disorder.”

National Institute of Mental Health (National Institutes of Health): “Anxiety disorders,” “Panic Disorder: When Fear Overwhelms.”

Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg on June 26, 2017

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What medications are used to treat panic attacks?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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