Where to Find Help for Panic Attacks

Panic Attack Treatment and Coexisting Conditions

It is common for panic attack disorder to be accompanied by another type of anxiety disorder or another illness. For example, people who have panic disorder often also experience the intense sadness and hopelessness associated with depression. Any of these problems will need to be treated as well, ideally at the same time as the panic attack disorder.
 

Getting Help for Panic Attacks

If you or someone you know has panic attack symptoms, a visit to the family physician is usually the best place to start. A physician can help determine whether the symptoms are due to panic disorder, some other medical condition, or both. Frequently, the next step in getting treatment for panic attacks is referral to a mental health professional.
 
Among the professionals who can help are:
 
  • Psychiatrists
  • Psychologists
  • Social workers
  • Counselors.
 
However, it's best to look for a professional who has specialized training in cognitive behavioral therapy and/or behavioral therapy, as appropriate, and who is open to the use of medications, should they be needed.
 
As stated earlier, psychologists, social workers, and counselors sometimes work closely with a psychiatrist or other physician, who will prescribe medications when they are required. For some people, group therapy is a helpful part of treatment.
 
It's important that you feel comfortable with the therapy that the mental health professional suggests. If this is not the case, seek help elsewhere. However, if you've been taking medication, it's important not to discontinue it abruptly, as stated before. Certain drugs need to be tapered off under the supervision of your physician.
 
Remember, though, that when you find a healthcare professional that you're satisfied with, the two of you are working together as a team. Together, you will be able to develop a treatment plan that may involve medications, cognitive behavioral or other talk therapy, or both, as appropriate.
 
You may be concerned about paying for treatment. If you belong to a health maintenance organization (HMO) or have some other kind of health insurance, the costs of your treatment may be fully or partially covered. There are also public mental health centers that charge people according to how much they are able to pay. If you are on public assistance, you may be able to get care through your state Medicaid plan.
 
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Panic Attack Information

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