If you or a family member frequently experience panic attacks that impair your functionality on a day-to-day basis, it may be time to seek professional help. Panic disorder treatment can help you learn how to identify your triggers, manage your symptoms, and safely decrease your risk of future panic attacks.
Panic Disorder vs. Anxiety Disorder
Many people conflate panic disorder with anxiety disorders. While there are many similarities between the two, each is its own unique mental health condition. Thus, it’s important to understand which you have before seeking treatment. That way, the mental health professionals you work with will have a better grasp on how to help you.
You may need panic disorder treatment if you regularly experience panic attacks. Typically, panic attacks are more intense than anxiety attacks. They may or may not occur in response to a specific trigger, which often makes them feel like they come “out of nowhere.” This feeling is exacerbated by the fact that panic attacks occur very suddenly and can catch people off-guard.
In short, the differences between panic attacks and anxiety attacks can be summed up through the following categories:
- Symptoms. As mentioned above, panic attacks often result in more severe symptoms than anxiety attacks.
- Onset. Panic attacks occur very suddenly, whereas anxiety attacks may have a more gradual build-up.
- Cause. Anxiety attacks usually have a specific trigger, while panic attacks may not.
- Duration. Most panic attacks don’t last longer than a few minutes, but anxiety attacks can persist for much longer.
If you still aren’t sure whether you live with panic disorder or anxiety disorder, reach out to a treatment center like The Blackberry Center. Our team of licensed mental health experts can evaluate your symptoms and advise you on how to proceed. Whether that means seeking anxiety disorder treatment or panic disorder treatment, we can help you recover.
Panic Disorder Treatment Options
Like with most other mental health conditions, there is no singular treatment guaranteed to help people with panic disorder. Instead, many individuals explore multiple evidence-based treatment modalities. This allows them to receive care from a variety of sources, which makes it more likely for them to find a panic disorder treatment that works for them.
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One of the most popular and prominent panic disorder treatment options is talk therapy, otherwise known as psychotherapy. Talk therapy pairs a patient with a licensed therapist who, depending on the type of psychotherapy, uses a variety of tactics to help them address and make changes in their mindsets and behaviors.
As a specific example, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is often used as a primary treatment for panic disorder. CBT suggests that thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are all interconnected, and that by manipulating one, the others can change as well.
Typically, CBT starts with the patient identifying an “unhelpful belief” about themself or the world. From there, the therapist may assign “homework” that will disprove the belief. As someone’s unhealthy thought processes are repeatedly, directly challenged, they gradually change and take on healthier attributes.
CBT’s role in panic disorder treatment focuses on how patients react to their feelings of panic. It also encourages them to challenge irrational thoughts that can further contribute to their panic attacks. As they overcome their negative or distorted beliefs, they decrease the likelihood of future panic attacks while also learning how to navigate them more effectively.
Panic Disorder Medications
In addition to talk therapy, many people with panic disorder take advantage of medications to manage their symptoms. Most medications used to treat panic disorder work by calming the nervous system. In turn, they reduce the risk of future attacks while simultaneously lessening the severity of any symptoms that continue to manifest.
Medications used in treating panic disorders include the following:
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
- Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIS)
- Tricyclic antidepressants
It’s important to note that different people react to medications in different ways. Medications used as a form of panic disorder treatment are no exception. For example, while on certain medications, some people may experience unpleasant side effects, such as:
- Dry mouth
- Blurry vision
For these reasons, it can take a period of trial and error to discover the best medication option for you. It also depends on factors such as what you need the medication to accomplish, as some are long-acting while others provide short-term relief. Furthermore, some are taken regularly, while others are taken on an “as needed” basis to fight off panic attacks as they occur.
Inpatient Panic Disorder Treatment
As mentioned previously, using a combination of panic disorder treatment approaches often provides the best and most comprehensive care. To that end, The Blackberry Center makes it easy to try a variety of treatment options through our inpatient mental health program.
During treatment, patients fully immerse themselves in recovery at our tranquil, retreat-like facility. Each day is rich with learning opportunities and chances to heal. For those battling panic attacks or panic disorder, the sense of stability and routine we provide can feel like a solid anchor at an otherwise tumultuous time.
In addition to the treatment options discussed previously, our inpatient panic disorder treatment program also utilizes those such as:
Sometimes, unexpected panic attacks that make someone feel like they’re losing control can trigger a state of severe emotional distress. In these cases, patients can also take advantage of our crisis stabilization services to de-escalate the situation. This program pairs them with a trained crisis team skilled in identifying and resolving the reasons for their acute distress.
Contact Us Today
The Blackberry Center is a mental health treatment center that teaches patients vital coping skills to overcome their mental health challenges. This includes depression, anxiety, panic disorder, substance use disorder, and more. If you or a loved one are in need of professional mental health support, The Blackberry Center is here to help.
To learn more about our panic disorder treatment program, call our admissions team at 888-512-9802 or submit a confidential contact form online. We can connect you with the resources you need to return to functional daily life.