A panic attack is a dangerous disorder which can be an extremely threatening experience because, during one, people imagine the worst possible effects happening to them – they may fear they are having a heart attack, dying, suffocating or even going crazy. Treating panic attacks is an important process. Though it is true that a panic attack is harmless, but repeated panic attacks may lead to deterioration of the mental condition (which will then percolate down to the physical well-being) if left untreated. Generally, relaxation techniques are used to treat mild panic attacks. But if the attacks are serious then medication is needed.
Medication, relaxation techniques and behavioral therapy are the common ways used in treating panic attacks, with medication being the most popular method. However, before any patient is put on medication, it is important that he/she is evaluated by a mental health professional.
Here are, in brief, how to provide treatment of panic attacks:
Medications such as sertraline, fluoxetine, paroxetine, or fluvoxamine help relieve anxiety and stress, and are often the first choice of medication administered to a patient.
Benzodiazepines such as alprazolam and clonazepam help too. The problem with allopathic medication is that a patient begins depending on it and gets addicted to these medications, sometimes even for life. Also, if this medication is stopped abruptly, then panic attacks may recur. The medication is usually prescribed for 3-6 weeks (once daily), but the doctor is the best person to decide the dosage and the time period.
Relaxation techniques, which a patient can practice at home, are effective too in controlling panic attacks. As these relation techniques are natural in nature, there are no side effects involved. However, the flip-side is that a patient will be in no mood to try out these techniques unless his mind is calmed instantly, which is something only medication can do.
Apart from these, there is also behavioral therapy, which is nothing but psychotherapy and counseling based on the cognitive model of emotional response. The therapist teaches and trains a patient and makes him realize that it is the way he thinks that causes the panic attack. Then the therapist trains the patient to replace this destructive thinking with positive thoughts, which will over a period of time stop the panic attacks.
Emotions Anonymous (EA) which is a twelve-step program for recovery from mental and emotional illness.
Which treatment works for whom depends on how mentally prepared and tough a patient is. Treating panic attacks is certainly something that has been completed successfully before. But all said and done, most of the sufferers prefer to start off on treatment for a quick relief and then go to the relaxation techniques or the behavioral treatment way of healing panic attacks.