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Why Panic Attack Medication May Not Be Your Only Alternative

Aug 17, 2007
When somebody uses the term "having a panic attack" in jest, the reaction is usually one of amusement from those in receipt of the comment. The reality is though, over 30 per cent of people will have an episode at some stage of their lives but it's those who suffer from it on a daily basis, the chronic sufferers, who would find such a comment less than amusing.

You see, for a chronic sufferer, living in fear of an attack has repercussions such as social withdrawal and loss of control and for these people, it's a daily grind living from one episode to another.

Panic Attack Medication

Medications are available for people suffering from panic disorder. The question is, are these medications just a quick fix solution or do they actually help a sufferer eliminate it from their lives entirely? Medication for panic attack comes in different forms from what are known as Beta blockers to antidepressants.

Beta blockers are a class of drug designed to relieve heavy work load on the heart and control high blood pressure. What has this got to do with panic attack? Well, one of the frightening symptoms is the pounding heart. It's such a scary experience that those who have experienced it often confuse it with having a heart attack. They are useful in their application but again, treat the symptom rather than the underlying problem.

Depression is a result of constant episodes of panic disorder and antidepressants are effective in treating it. For chronic sufferers, drugs with a tranquilizing effect known as Benzodiazepines also have proven effective in reducing the symptoms.

The above medication has it's place amongst the list of panic attack treatments however, while patients report being able to control and reduce the incidence of an episode while using them, relapses are possible if the drugs are discontinued while in the case of Benzidiazepines, there's also a risk of dependency.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Medications are considered a fix for the symptoms of panic disorder however, getting to the cause of the underlying problem is best achieved through counselling. A popular form of counselling is Cognitive-behavioural therapy and it's aim is to modify certain thoughts and behaviour patterns to control the symptoms.

An example of this type of treatment involves working with a therapist and basically predicting when a panic attack is going to occur. How does this help you? The idea is you will learn of ways to deal or respond to a panic attack which will help eliminate the fear of having another attack. Your therapist will introduce you to effective exercises designed to identify your destructive or fearful thought patterns and alter them.

The process can usually be a long and involved one and eventually, when a patient is confident of controlling their attacks, they are introduced to controlled situations or areas where they have experienced or had cause to experience panic attacks in the past.

Panic Attack Vs. Anxiety Attack?

There is some confusion surrounding the difference between a panic and anxiety attack. The former is will happen without too much warning and has severe symptoms associated with it while anxiety tends to build up and last longer.

Will You Continue To Let Panic Attack Control Your Life?

While the side effects of medication or the stigma attached with counselling may be unacceptable for some, the truth is, doing nothing about chronic panic attack will not improve someone's chances of being free from it. You need to take the first step and seek professional advice and then steer a course which suits you best in controlling panic attack in your life.
About the Author
Dean Caporella is a professional broadcaster. Just how effective are panic attack medication treatments and are they just a quick fix solution. Plus, read the latest panic/anxiety attack news and reviews at:http://www.panicattacksite.com
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