ZocdocAnswersAre there any treatment for panic attacks?

Question

Are there any treatment for panic attacks?

I keep getting panic attacks. How can I be treated so I don't get them anymore? It is starting to really affect my life.

Answer

I am sorry that you have been experiencing panic attacks. You should follow up with a psychiatrist to discuss your symptoms to determine if you have a panic disorder or another kind of anxiety disorder and to discuss possible treatment options for your specific case. In a panic disorder, sudden panic attacks are usually unprovoked, as opposed to other anxiety disorders where the attack is often brought on by a specific occurrence. A panic attack is an episode of significant fear that starts suddenly and ends quickly. Palpitations, sweating, trembling, shortness of breath, dizziness, and chest pain can also be part of a panic attack. After speaking with a psychiatrist, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) may be recommended as it is currently the treatment of choice for panic disorders. Medications may also be considered. For example, a benzodiazepine (like Ativan) may be recommended to take on an as needed basis for periods of increased anxiety. A longer term SSRI (anti-depressant medication like Prozac) can also be of use in addition to CBT and close psychiatric follow up. You should follow up with your primary care provider and find a psychiatrist to discuss your symptoms of panic attacks. You primary doctor can ensure that there are no other underlying etiologies for your symptoms, and the psychiatrist can help with short and long term management of panic attacks and anxiety.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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