Many people across the nation deal with panic disorders that are characterized by sudden attacks of anxiety and overwhelming fear that can last for several minutes. It can cause many effects including a pounding heart, sweating, and feeling like you can’t breathe or think properly. If left untreated, panic disorder can lead to a lower quality of life by causing fears and mental disorders, problems at work or school, and social isolation.
For many, they may not know how to deal with these panic disorders and the corresponding symptoms. While there are treatment options available for those dealing with the disorders, it is important to learn about the causes of panic disorders and what preventative measures you can take to avoid the problem altogether.
Causes Of Panic Disorders
Panic disorder is something that can run in families and be passed down from generation to generation, obviously, this is an unavoidable cause of the disorder. With that said, there are other factors that can play a role in causing panic attacks or panic disorders. For example, major stress is one issue that can lead to a person experiencing a panic attack.
Traumatic events like sexual assault, the death of a loved one, or a serious accident are all causes that can lead to someone experiencing panic disorders. It should also be noted that substance abuse like smoking or alcohol can lead to panic disorders. These substances pose serious health threats and it may be best to stop smoking or learn how to stop drinking to help not only reduce chances of panic attacks but improve overall health.
With all this said, some may still deal with problems related to anxiety disorders and panic attacks. Luckily, there are treatment options available for those dealing with these issues.
There are a couple of treatment options for those affected by problems related to panic disorders. Generally, the two options include psychotherapy and medications.
According to the Mayo Clinic, psychotherapy, or talk therapy, is considered an effective first choice treatment for those suffering from panic attacks or a panic disorder. Cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the most common forms of psychotherapy which can help you learn that panic symptoms are not dangerous. During this form of therapy, a clinician will help guide a patient through the symptoms of a panic attack in a safe environment so that they will learn not to feel threatened when these symptoms occur outside of the clinical setting.
Along with therapy, medication can be an effective way to reduce symptoms associated with panic attacks and can also help a co-occurring disorder like depression. There are a number of common forms of medication that are used to help those suffering from panic attacks including:
SSRIs — Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, or SSRIs, are generally safe and pose a low-risk for serious side effects. These types of antidepressants are generally the first choice of medication for people dealing with panic attacks. SSRIs that are commonly prescribed include Prozac and Zoloft.
SNRIs — Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors, or SNRIs, are another class of antidepressants.
Benzodiazepines — Benzodiazepines are a commonly prescribed medication across the nation. It is a sedative that is used as a central nervous system depressant. There are many benzodiazepines approved by the FDA for the treatment of panic disorders including Xanax and Klonopin. It should be noted that benzodiazepines are generally used on a short-term basis as they can be habit forming and lead to dependence. These medications should not be used if a patient has had problems with alcohol or drug use.
There are a number of ways that you can work to prevent or treat problems related to anxiety disorders and panic attacks. The most important thing is to not leave it untreated. If you are experiencing problems with your mental or physical health it should be a priority to work to get it resolved.
About the Author
Matthew Boyle is the Chief Operating Officer of Landmark Recovery, an Indiana treatment center. He has been working in the healthcare space for 7 years with a new emphasis on recovery. Before his ventures into healthcare, Matthew graduated from Duke University in 2011 Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree. After Duke Matthew went on to work for the Boston Consulting Group before he realized his true passion lies within Recovery. His vision is to save a million lives in 100 years with a unique approach to recovery that creates a supportive environment through trust, treatment, and intervention.