Treatment for Panic Disorder in Wylie, TX

Pathway Psychiatry provides comprehensive psychiatric care and counseling for adults at our psychiatric clinic in Wylie, TX. Dr. Ashley Gardner takes care to offer personalized treatment plans for individuals with conditions such as panic disorder. Call today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Gardner!

If you have frequent physical reactions to stress or anxiety, you may seek treatment for panic disorder.

If you have a panic attack, that does not necessarily mean you have a panic disorder.

A panic disorder is considered if:

  • you have frequent, unexpected panic attacks
  • there is an excessive worry for a month or longer about another attack and debilitating fear
  • the attacks are not connected with another mental health condition or substance use

These criteria are determined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association.

Keep in mind if you have occasional panic attacks but not a diagnosed panic disorder, you can still benefit from treatment. If your panic attacks aren’t treated, they can get worse and may develop into panic disorder or phobias.

What are the Symptoms of a Panic Attack?

Diagnosis may be difficult because symptoms such as chest pain and shortness of breath also are associated with other potentially serious conditions.

When someone has a panic attack, there is a discrete period of intense fear or discomfort. They may experience four or more of the following symptoms occur abruptly:

  • Palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Sensations of shortness of breath or smothering
  • Feeling of choking
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Nausea or abdominal distress
  • Feeling dizzy, unsteady, lightheaded, or faint
  • Feelings of unreality or detached from self
  • Fear of losing control or going crazy
  • Fear of dying
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Chills or hot flushes

What are the Benefits of Panic Disorder Treatment?

Panic disorder treatment can be beneficial for those who want to improve functioning in everyday life. Getting help can reduce the intensity and frequency of panic attacks.

Treatment for panic disorders may include:

Psychotherapy or Talk Therapy

Working with a trained therapist to manage your panic disorder can help uncover the reasons behind your panic attacks and help you learn how to cope with them.

Psychotherapy may include cognitive behavior therapy which helps you learn the connection between your thoughts and your behaviors and how to modify these thoughts to improve your outcomes. For example, if you feel thoughts coming on that trigger anxiety or stress, your therapist can help teach you how to work through these thoughts and feelings to help avoid a panic attack. Strong evidence supports the effectiveness of cognitive behavior therapy in treating panic disorder.

Successful treatment can also help you so you can learn how to manage fear. If you are avoiding work, relationships, or situations because of fear of a panic attack, your therapist can help you navigate these situations.

Therapy for panic disorders can help improve outcomes within weeks or months, depending on the level of severity of your condition. You can work with your therapist to find the right approach for you.

Medications

Some people find medications help to manage panic disorders. Often, panic attacks can be triggered by depression or anxiety, so certain medications may prove helpful to manage symptoms.

Medications to help you treat panic disorders may include

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are antidepressants usually recommended for panic disorders. Examples include Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloft.
  • Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) are another class of antidepressants. The SNRI venlafaxine (Effexor XR) is FDA approved for the treatment of panic disorder.
  • According to research in the American Family Physician, antidepressant medications can successfully reduce the severity of panic symptoms and can eliminate panic attacks.

Your doctor can help you decide if you would benefit from psychotherapy, medications, or a combination of both.

How Can I Get Help with Panic Disorder?

If you suffer from frequent panic attacks and are diagnosed with a panic disorder, it is important to seek treatment so you can function in your everyday life. Living in intense fear can get in the way of your relationships, daily tasks, or overall life goals.

Schedule an Appointment for Panic Disorder Treatment in Wylie, TX

Pathway Psychiatry can help you find the right combination of psychotherapy and/or medical treatment to help eliminate or reduce your panic attacks. Call (214) 997-4459 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Gardner today!

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