Everything to Know about Panic Disorder, Attacks (Part 2)

Panic Disorder Info.

If you read last week’s article on panic disorder and panic attacks, you should have an understanding of what panic is and how to tell if it is affecting you or someone you know.

Keeping up with current research on a topic ensures that you will stay aware of important information about it. This is especially true for mental health issues.

One issue that researchers have yet to solve related to panic disorder is what causes it. Why do some people who have experienced a trauma go on to develop panic disorder while others do not?

An article on panic disorder by a group of professors describes some of the risk factors for the condition. Some of these factors include “early life trauma or maltreatment,[…]an anxious temperament that is characterised by neuroticism and anxiety sensitivity.” The authors also name “stressful life events” as a contributing cause of panic attacks. This indicates that a person who is very nervous or “high-strung” is more likely to have panic attacks. The researchers show that a person who has experienced something highly traumatic as a child or more recently in his or her life is also more likely to have a panic attack.

Another article published just a few months ago reaffirms past findings about panic disorder treatment. The author of the study concludes that combining drug therapy (prescribing anti-anxiety or antidepressant medication) and regular therapy (directed by a licensed therapist) is still the most effective way to treat people who have panic disorder.

For long-term treatment after initial progress has been made, the author of the study recommends continued combination therapy or traditional therapy by itself. The second option is generally the favored method, since taking any medication long-term can have side effects or stop working as effectively. A psychiatrist knows how much of a drug to prescribe, and he or she can talk with the person with panic disorder to determine if a higher or lower dosage is needed.

A specific type of therapy the study examined for efficacy at treating panic disorder was Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. CBT, as it is known, is helpful for a variety of people who have mental health conditions. The author of the study describes how CBT can be an especially attractive option for women who are pregnant, since many in that population do not wish to use drug treatments while their unborn child is developing.

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