Before we talk about how to treat panic attacks lets talk about some of the symptoms. A person who experiences panic attacks may encounter the following symptoms:
• Palpitations of the heart
• Stomach sickness
• Cold or hot flashes
The causes of panic attacks are unknown, but these episodes fall under the revolutionary response called fight of flight. In this response, the body reacts to harm or danger by releasing adrenaline. The release of adrenaline or epinephrine is how the body copes with stress. This is what drives a person to act upon a situation.
However, when panic becomes too frightening, overwhelming and recurring, it becomes a disorder. Panic disorder is developed by people who have had more than two panic attacks. This may either come with agoraphobia or not.
Panic disorder is treatable. A person with such disorder may recover and reclaim the normal life he has once had. There are at least two treatment options on how to treat panic attacks.
Taking drugs as a form of treatment can be done, but is not recommended for all patients. Because panic disorder is not a mental ailment, the prescription of doctors for medicines is limited.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy and exposure therapy are the two effective ways on how to treat panic attacks. A patient of panic disorder may undergo either or both of the treatment options.
Studies have asserted that the thoughts and behavior of a person are what triggers panic. Because of this, it is also the thoughts and behaviors of a person that must be reformed to make him cope with panic.
Eighty-five percent of panic disorder patients recovered and became panic-free with cognitive-behavioral therapy. This form of treatment is a psychotherapeutic approach that deals with the thinking patterns and behavioral concepts of an individual.
The therapy corrects the false and erroneous thoughts of a person on several things. It also corrects the behavior that causes an episode of anxiety. There are two components involved in the therapy. The first one is identifying the wrong cognitions, thoughts and behaviors. The other one is correcting and refining them in order for an individual to overcome panic and anxiety.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is way on how to treat panic attacks that helps a person think and behave in a more positive respect.
Exposure therapy is another treatment option that can independently cure panic disorder. It falls under behavior therapy because it helps a person deal with a panic attack. A person is treated by actually exposing him to feared situations. He is put in an environment that is controlled by medical professionals.
In this environment, he will be asked to experience the symptoms of an anxiety attack. The patient may experience seizures, nausea, heart palpitations, or breathlessness. This therapy will actually make him think he is experiencing an attack; it will also drive him to act upon the attack by coping with it.
Panic disorder with agoraphobia is treated a little differently. A panic patient will be exposed to a number of his fears of phobias. These phobias are usually the ones that trigger panic. Being exposed to them and realizing that they cause no danger is a way to overcome panic disorder.
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