What Treatments Are Available for Panic Disorder?

Cognitive-behavioral Therapy for panic disorder at the Fear and Anxiety Disorders Clinic focuses on teaching people how to view panic attacks differently and demonstrating ways to reduce anxiety. Specific interventions include (1) education regarding the relationship between anxiety and panic symptoms, (2) anxiety management techniques, (3) use of cognitive restructuring focused on correcting misappraisals of bodily sensations perceived as threatening, and (4) graduated exposure to feared sensations and situations aimed at disrupting or weakening associations between specific bodily cues and panic reactions. Sessions are held weekly. Toward the end of treatment, sessions may be held every other week to allow for greater practice of skills learned during therapy.

Appropriate treatment by an experienced professional in the treatment of panic disorder can reduce or prevent panic attacks in 70% to 90% of people with panic disorder. Most patients show significant progress after a few weeks of therapy. Relapses may occur, but they can often be effectively treated just like the initial episode

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