There are different options to treat panic disorder. Work with your care team to find what works best for you. Non-medicine options include:
Learn what you can about panic disorder. Understand what is happening during an attack. Know that it is not life-threatening. Knowing this may help you stay calm during a panic attack. It may decrease the severity or length of the attack.
Therapy may help you address triggers. Options include:
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
CBT focuses on your thought patterns and how you feel about triggers. Once you are aware of them you can develop better coping skills. This may include changing your focus to what you can do rather than what you cannot.
This therapy will help you focus on the feelings you have the most problems with. It may help you understand your reactions to triggers. You ca n them find ways to cope with them.
You are slowly exposed to the panic triggers. As you get used to being around these triggers, your reaction to them will decrease.
Stress cannot always be prevented. However, these tools can help you ease the effect of stress. Options include meditation, deep breathing, or positive thinking. For example, if your breathing increases under stress you can learn how to slow it down. It can stop a panic attack from getting worse.
Support groups can be very helpful. You will meet with other people who live with the same issues. Together, you may help one another cope with stressful situations. Keep in mind that support groups do not take the place of counseling.
Answers to your questions about panic disorder. American Psychological Association website. Available at: http://www.apa.org/topics/anxiety/panic-disorder.aspx. Accessed February 25, 2019.
Anxiety disorders. National Institute of Mental Health website. Available at: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders/index.shtml. Updated July 2018. Accessed February 25, 2019.
Panic attacks and panic disorder. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/psychiatric-disorders/anxiety-and-stressor-related-disorders/panic-attacks-and-panic-disorder. Updated July 2018. Accessed February 25, 2019.
Panic disorder. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115030/Panic-disorder. Updated September 21, 2018. Accessed February 25, 2019.
Last reviewed December 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Adrian Preda, MD Last Updated: 2/25/2019