An Introduction to Panic Disorder Treatment
Treatment for panic disorder is typically a three-phase process that takes place partially or completely in a psychiatric hospital. This is due to the fact that panic disorder can be so terrifying that the sufferer loses contact with reality and instead lives in fear of the next attack and their own death. Overall, the symptoms of panic disorder can be so crippling that the sufferer feels separated – from other people and from normalcy – and this can be a very lonely experience. For more information, check this out
Since Panic Disorder is so complex, it’s usually handled with a combination of medicine and behavioural and cognitive therapy. To help the patient into phase 1 of psychiatric treatment, medication is usually required at first. Later, as the psychiatric treatment becomes more successful, the medication may be decreased until the psychiatric treatment no longer needs medication. Eventually, the sufferer should be able to effectively apply the strategies learned, and psychiatric treatment would be unnecessary.
The first step in treating panic disorder is to describe the disorder to the patient, emphasising that they are not alone and that they are not insane. When the patient realises that their thought process is skewed, the therapist will assist them in reorganising their emotions and moving from negative to constructive thinking. To calm the anxiety that underpins all panic attacks, strategies such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, relaxation, and meditation are used. This phase’s objective is to assist the sufferer in coping with the attacks once they occur, or even before they start.
The second step delves much more. During this process, the therapist assists the patient in recognising the stimuli – the ‘triggers’ – that cause the attacks. It is easier for the sufferer to realise that these causes are not the cause of the panic attacks after the first round. The attacks are different from the stimuli, and as the sufferer knows this, they become more resistant to the stimuli while also becoming less susceptible to panic attacks.
In the final step, the therapist interacts with the patient even more closely, aiding them in confronting their disorder’s symptoms. When sufferers realise that panic attacks are mostly induced by the fear of another panic attack and its frightening symptoms, rather than the triggers that initially caused the attacks, they are better able to stop the symptoms and avoid an attack.