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Popular Panic Attack Treatments

Oct 12, 2007
If you've ever had a panic attack, or recurring panic attacks, chances are you've participated in one or more popular panic attack treatments. Treatments come in three general categories: Medication, desensitization, and physiological / mental techniques (a funny way of saying body / mind techniques). Allow me to expand on these a bit and let you know how they work and whether they are effective or not.

When I started having panic attacks, I went to the university health center. This old doctor waddled into the room, checked my vitals, and asked me what was wrong. I told him I thought I had a brain tumor, cancer, or impending heart attack. He did a range of tests and everything came back normal. Then he prescribed me Xanax and told me to take 3 1mg pills per day, end of problem for him! I followed the prescription and quickly realized I would not graduate if I continued taking these pills. So I put them aside, and eventually became dependent on them to relax (which is another story altogether). As for medical treatment, it is quite common to prescribe Xanax or another benzodiazepine. Unfortunately, a tolerance is built up quickly to these drugs and, as in my example, they can be habit forming. Other doctors prefer to prescribe antidepressants, which may be effective for some people after months or years of adjusting the dosage to get the desired effect.

Another popular panic attack treatment is called Interoceptive Desensitization. What happens here is, the doctor will try to induce the symptoms of a panic attack one by one in a controlled setting so that you gradually do not have anxiety surrounding the symptoms. For example, the doctor may spin you around in a chair to make you dizzy. Or the doctor may have you breathe through a straw to simulate airway constriction. I've heard of some people having success with these techniques, but this type of therapy is often criticized as being outdated and ineffective.

The final category of treatments include techniques that are designed to either break the pattern of a panic attack, or have some physiological effect on the body which will reduce the secretion of "fight or flight" adrenaline. These are more controversial, newer methods, but they enjoy wide popularity due to the quick results they offer. The first technique is known as the One Move technique. What this does is quickly break the "anxiety cycle" which means you eliminate the fear of having another panic attack. It is the most popular online treatment for eliminating anxiety and panic attacks. The second method, which is rapidly becoming popular is the Linden Method. This method is a series of simple practices which affect an organ in the brain, called the Amygdala, which is 100% responsible for anxiety, panic attacks, phobias, OCD, and PTSD.

After graduating college (no thanks to the Xanax), my panic attacks subsided on their own for several years. Then, when my wife became pregnant with our first child, they resumed again. Seeking treatment, I went to a new doctor and was prescribed Xanax again! It helped me to keep the edge off for awhile, but it rapidly started destroying my life, even though I was taking it exactly as prescribed. I dumped it in the sink and sought help on the internet. Now it has been 4 years (and 3 children) since my last panic attack.
About the Author
Read about my surprising experience with Panic Away, which offers instant panic attack treatment and coaching:

What Panic Away Did To Me
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