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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Treatment for Panic Attack: The Basics

Panic attacks happen to people as a result of a variety of triggers. Because people who suffer from panic attacks do not have a single trigger to attribute their panic attacks to, there’s also no standard treatment for panic attack. However, one such popular treatment for panic attack is psychotherapy. This, when used with other treatments that complement its effectiveness, is used to treat panic attacks.

There are treatments for panic attacks aside from psychotherapy that serve as alternatives and complements. These are usually therapeutic procedures applied once a person is found to have a propensity towards panic attacks. While causes of panic attacks and what specific things and situations are identified as definite triggers, there are some symptoms that help signal a panic attack. Indicators include hot flushes or chills accompanied by chest pains, palpitations, numbness of hands, dizziness, breathing difficulties, and nausea.

A possible treatment for panic attack that complements psychotherapy is cognitive-behavioral therapy. Using this treatment, behavior towards dealing with panic is normalized to the point that the mind is conditioned to deal proactively with panic to avoid a panic attack. Techniques that are employed include breathing exercises to help the muscles relax. Aside from trying to control physical manifestations of the beginnings of a panic attack, a patient also undergoes counseling to reassure him or her that fears are unfounded and will not yield to a great harm.

Patients suffering from panic attacks have responded positively to cognitive-behavioral therapy. This treatment for panic attack puts together relaxation methods to ease the physical symptoms of a panic attack, and proactive advising to help the patient internally deal with feelings and emotions associated with panic.

However, there are some patients whose panic attacks border on the extreme. This would require medical intervention in the form of antidepressant medications. These treatments for panic attack, like Tofranil, act to reduce anxiety and the overall feeling of panic. Patients have been responsive to treatment for panic attack in the form of medications because they feel that they are proactively doing something about their illness.

Popular medicines like Prozac, Zoloft, Lexapro, Celexa, and Paxil act as selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors, and are often prescribed by doctors. They act as primary medications for the treatment for panic attack not only because of how effective they are, but because their popularity makes them readily available in pharmacies.

Usually, anti-anxiety drugs are used at the onset of therapy. Treatments usually begin using the lowest dose, and would progress in response to patient’s responsiveness to the drug and the patient’s needs.

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