The Best Way to Treat Panic Disorder?


One of the main arguments in psychology today is about whether it is better to prescribe people drugs for their mental health condition or to treat them with therapy.

For some people who have severe symptoms that cause a major disruption in their life, drugs can be a helpful and welcome solution. Prescription drugs can also be effective for people who have a family history of a disorder, as they are more susceptible to developing the same disorder than a person with a healthy family background.

Some practitioners compromise by offering their patients traditional therapy and drug therapy.

In cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), the patient can learn to manage his or her condition and to better understand it. Many trained psychiatrists will recommend that their patients try to learn strategies to deal with their illness in therapy while their body gets accustomed to a low to moderate dose of the prescribed drug.

Benzodiazepines are a class of drugs typically used for people who have an anxiety-related disorder. For someone who has moderate to severe generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) or panic disorder, it is fairly common to combine CBT with benzodiazepines. Some people respond better to Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), which are also used for people who are dealing with depression.

Read a blog post about therapy versus medication here:

Recommended Resources

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

AnxietyRUs February 20, 2013 at 12:21 am

It’s awesome to be able to treat a disease with behavioral therapy as well as with medication. I have panic attacks and I can tell you, even though you know they won’t kill you, you will find the experience very uncomfortable and not something you want to continue doing. I would love to be able to find a way I could stop doing it.


Rich Presta February 21, 2013 at 12:08 pm

There’s a lot of great information here that I think you’ll find very useful, and if you feel you need more, you can always take a look at the recommended resources page to find something for more aggressive help.


josjane1406 February 21, 2013 at 4:08 pm

I think medications can be a huge help, but I am so cautious about long term use of these very powerful drugs, like SSRI’s. I think it is best to start a medication like that with a concrete goal for when to try to be off of them.


Rich Presta February 22, 2013 at 6:22 pm

I agree. Meds have their place, no doubt, but relying on them too much or as the only option is something I’d usually consider a mistake that can be quite costly in many ways.


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