The studies of treatment of panic disorders have focused on three primary areas. These areas are cognitive, behavioral and the use of medications. Behavioral studies have centered on teaching a person with a panic disorder to purposely approach a situation that creates panic attacks. The cognitive studies teach a person to control their thoughts to put an end to the kind of anxiety and worried thinking that leads to panic attacks.
The use of medications is always an option, but studies continue concerning their effectiveness.
The use of medications to treat panic disorders is seldom the first choice of treatment. Even when used, studies of treatment of panic disorders have shown that medications should not be the only form of treatment used. They should be used with other forms of treatment also including the behavioral and cognitive treatments. In fact, if at all possible, it’s better to not use prescription medicines unless absolutely necessary.
In some cases though, studies of treatment of panic disorders have shown medications to be needed in order to make progress. These cases include the following.
• You have agoraphobia in addition to panic disorder and cannot bring yourself to approach any situation in the real world that will help you overcome panic attacks
• You experience long periods of panic attacks or have a level of panic and anxiety on a regular basis
• Your panic disorders are accompanied by depression
• Your panic attacks create a dangerous situation such as frequent bouts occurring while driving on the expressway
Though panic disorders are not technically related to a particular event, they can certainly occur at any time. Panic disorders are also commonly accompanied by anxiety disorders such as agoraphobia so you need to address the “big picture”. The studies of treatment of panic disorders have shown certain medications to be effective.
The first class of drugs is SSI antidepressants. They work to balance the production of serotonin in the brain so that anxiety is less likely to occur. The studies of treatment of panic disorders have indicated that antidepressants work well for a number of reasons. These reasons include the fact they are not addictive which is always a consideration when taking medication.
Another popular class of drugs studies of treatment of panic disorders have shown be effective are benzodiazepines which are tranquilizers. These drugs work fast but one of their biggest drawbacks is the fact they can be addictive. A third class of medications is tricyclic antidepressants. This class of medication is not addictive and can help with depression also. Their major drawback is they can have significant side effects such as blurred vision or dizziness.
The studies of treatment of panic disorders continue, and new medications are tested every day. But your doctor will only prescribe medications when considered absolutely necessary to help you overcome your panic disorders, and only in conjunction with other forms of treatment.