Panic Attacks and Panic Disorder
Medicines to treat panic disorder often may prevent another panic attack. But they may not take away the fear of having another attack. Counseling can help you handle this fear. The fear of having an attack may actually bring on another attack.
Reference Cognitive-behavioral therapy focuses on changing certain thinking and behavior patterns. It is the most effective type of therapy for panic disorder. Other types of counseling you might choose to seek include:
- Reference Exposure therapy. This is a type of cognitive-behavioral counseling.
- Reference Family therapy Opens New Window. This can help those who care about you learn about panic disorder. And it can help you maintain good relationships.
Support groups and self-help
Reference Support groups are often good places to share information, problem-solving tips, and emotions related to panic disorder.
Online discussion forums and websites may also offer information and support.
Self-help materials can help you learn to cope with panic disorder or anxiety. These include instructional videos, books, and audio materials.
Body-centered relaxation exercises can be useful for reducing anxiety and treating symptoms of stress. They include:
- Reference Breathing exercises, such as roll breathing (a type of deep breathing).
- Progressive muscle relaxation. This reduces muscle tension by relaxing individual muscle groups.
- Reference Massage, such as Reference shoulder and neck massage.
- Reference Aromatherapy. This uses the aroma-producing oils (essential oils) from plants to promote relaxation.
- Reference Yoga, Reference tai chi, and qi gong, and other forms of exercise and meditation. They typically require initial instruction.
Mindfulness activities are techniques that help relax the mind. They are often combined with body-centered relaxation exercises. These techniques include:
- Reference Autogenic training. This is used to return the body to a normal state after a Reference stress response Opens New Window.
- Reference Self-hypnosis. It can open the mind to suggestions that can relieve stress or change the way you respond to stressful situations.
- Meditation, where you focus your attention on the things that are happening right now in the present moment. One way to do this is by paying attention to your breathing.
- Guided imagery (visualization). This is a method of using your imagination to help you relax and release tension caused by stress. Your body responds to the images in your mind.
- Reference Music therapy. It can relax your body, improve your mood, and change the pace of your day.
- Reference Humor therapy. This treatment is becoming widely accepted as a tool for reducing stress and boosting the body's immune system.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference September 7, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Lisa S. Weinstock, MD - Psychiatry