You have a unique medical history. Therefore, it is essential to talk with your doctor about your personal risk factors and/or experience with panic disorder. By talking openly and regularly with your doctor, you can take an active role in your care.
General Tips for Gathering Information
Here are some tips that will make it easier for you to talk to your doctor:
Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask.
Write out your questions ahead of time, so you don't forget them.
Write down the answers you get, and make sure you understand what you are hearing. Ask for clarification, if necessary.
Don't be afraid to ask your questions or ask where you can find more information about what you are discussing. You have a right to know.
Specific Questions to Ask Your Doctor
About Panic Disorder
Are my fears, panic attacks, and other symptoms typical of panic disorder?
Can you do a full physical to rule out other illnesses?
Are you trained to treat people with panic disorder? Do you have experience? If not, can you refer me to someone who does?
About Treatment Options
What treatment options are available for panic disorder?
If I need medication, how long will it take to work? What benefits should I expect? What side effects should I watch for?
Can you recommend counselors who treat people with panic disorder?
If you decide to try counseling, interview counselors and find one with whom you feel comfortable. You should ask the counselor about:
Their experience in treating panic disorder
Their basic approach to treatment
The length of treatment
The length and frequency of treatment sessions
What health insurance is accepted
How much treatment costs and if there is financial help available
About Lifestyle Changes
Are their lifestyle changes that could help reduce my panic and stress symptoms? Such as:
Relaxation and stress management techniques
Can you recommend methods for incorporating these behaviors?
About Your Outlook
What are my chances of recovering from panic disorder, both with and without treatment?
Can panic disorder or related conditions recur? What can I do to prevent a recurrence?
Can you recommend a support group?
Answers to your questions about panic disorder. American Psychological Association website. Available at: http://www.apa.org/topics/anxiety/panic-disorder.aspx. Accessed June 27, 2017.
Tips for talking to your doctor. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: https://familydoctor.org/tips-for-talking-to-your-doctor. Updated May 2014. Accessed June 27, 2017.
Last reviewed June 2017 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board Adrian Preda, MD
Last Updated: 12/20/2014
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