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What is the first step in treating panic attacks?

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A panic attack is a sudden and intense episode of fear or anxiety. You might get it if you have a type of anxiety disorder called panic disorder. Treatment usually works well. Your doctor will probably start by giving you a complete physical exam to rule out any other medical problems. You might be referred to a mental health specialist, like a psychologist or psychiatrist, with experience in treating panic disorders. Your doctor will include the specialist’s opinion before arriving at a diagnosis. If you have panic attacks repeatedly, it’s called a panic disorder.

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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How can counseling help with panic attacks?

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