Who treats panic attacks?
First, you’ll want to speak with your doctor about your symptoms. They can help you rule out any physical causes and refer you to the appropriate mental health professional, if necessary. A psychiatrist or psychologist can help you find the best treatment option so that you can find relief from your panic attack symptoms.
How are panic attacks treated?
Panic attacks are generally treated through a combination of psychotherapy and medication. Your doctor can recommend treatment options for you:
- Psychotherapy: Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a first-line defense against panic attacks. By working with a trained psychologist, you can slowly restructure your negative thought patterns. Once you are able to adopt a different attitude toward your panic attacks, which takes time and patience, you should be able to exert better control over your thoughts and emotions during an attack. This ultimately allows you to better control your symptoms and find relief.
- Medication: A number of medications are routinely prescribed for people experiencing panic attacks. The most commonly prescribed types of medication for panic attacks are:
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
- Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)
SSRIs and SNRIs take weeks to build up in your system and are more effective for treating long-term symptoms of panic disorder. Beta-blockers and benzodiazepines, on the other hand, are to be used more sparingly and in specific instances, as indicated by your doctor. For instance, a benzodiazepine may rapidly reduce the effects of a panic attack from the onset but may lead to tolerance over time and is too powerful to be used with frequency. Your mental health professional will be able to guide you toward one or more medications that work for you.
Will panic attacks ever go away?
Once you begin to seek diagnosis and treatment, you’ve taken the first step to improving your mental health and getting rid of your panic attacks. However, it’s important to keep in mind that if you want your panic attacks to disappear completely, you’ll have to work to restructure your negative thought patterns. With the help of psychotherapy and medication, you may begin to experience immediate relief, but restructuring your thoughts won’t happen overnight. Over the course of several weeks and months, though, you may notice the frequency of your attacks decreasing and an overall improvement in your mental health. With proper treatment, panic disorder can go away in an individual.