home
RSS
August 30th, 2011
10:34 AM ET

How can I control my panic attacks?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Tuesdays, it's Dr. Charles Raison, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University, and an expert in the mind-body connection for health.

Question asked by Stephanie via e-mail

I've been having a lot of panic attacks, almost every day; sometimes when I'm working, dealing with the kids or just nothing at all. I'll get shortness of breath, chest hurts on both sides or just one side, and a lot of my heart skipping a beat. And it scares me. I'm 29 years old and in good health. How can I control this?

Expert answer:

Dear Stephanie,

I don't need to tell you that panic attacks are among the most hideous experiences a human being can have. They are such strange occurrences. While being in no physical danger at all, you feel as if you are in mortal peril. In the midst of perfectly good health, you feel as if you are on the edge of sudden death. And telling yourself that there is no real danger is of almost no help whatsoever.

My strongest piece of advice is that you make an appointment to see your doctor immediately. Many primary care doctors feel comfortable treating panic disorder or will know a clinician who does.

Like everything else in psychiatry, treatment options come in two general flavors: medications and psychotherapy.

The best proven psychotherapy for panic attacks is similar in many ways to the type of therapy that I've described several times before for obsessive-compulsive disorder. It has two main components, neither of which is pleasant, but which are in the aggregate often highly effective. First, the therapist would work with you to gradually expose yourself to situations that cause panic. Then, once you are in these situations, he or she would teach you to tolerate the terrible panic feelings when they arose.

I suspect that just thinking about doing this might have you breaking out in a cold sweat, which is why it is so important to get professional help.

Among psychotropic medications, two classes are particularly effective for panic, and they are very different from each other. Benzodiazepines, like Valium, Ativan or Klonopin, have powerful anti-anxiety effects that happen very rapidly after they are ingested. If you have long panic attacks, or attacks that come in prolonged volleys, these medications work quickly enough that they can interrupt things in mid-attack.

Most antidepressants also treat panic attacks, but unlike benzodiazepines, they require several weeks of being taken daily before their effects are usually seen. For this reason, many clinicians will start patients on an antidepressant and a benzodiazepine. Once the antidepressant has been on board for several weeks, the benzodiazepine can often be discontinued.

Let me alert you to a few challenges in these treatments. Psychotherapy is great, but depending where you live and the state of your finances, it can be hard to find and expensive. Benzodiazepines work extremely well but have addictive potential when taken long term. If you elect treatment with an antidepressant, make sure that your clinician starts you on the lowest dose possible, because - paradoxically - antidepressants can cause panic attacks when they are first taken and can certainly worsen them in people already afflicted.

The good news is that all these treatment options are effective, so it is very likely you will be able to gain control of your symptoms, find relief and continue with your life.

Follow @CNNHealth on Twitter.

Ask our doctors a question


soundoff (346 Responses)
  1. FnrdEncox

    order viagra overnight shipping 100 ml viagra for sale buy viagra new york

    December 3, 2020 at 23:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Rafaela Barreiro

    Good website! I really love how it is easy on my eyes and the data are well written. I'm wondering how I might be notified whenever a new post has been made. I have subscribed to your RSS feed which must do the trick! Have a nice day!

    http://maps.google.dm/url?q=https://asiavirtualsolutions.com/product-category/hosting/

    December 6, 2020 at 10:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Smithevm

    an intimate adventure on online dating services

    your lover turned out pleased about outcome it truly is now dating certain online suitors of the week. the things i didn suggest Alice is that this is the fourth precious time I trialled this accountability this year some kind of illustration showing easiest way extensive dating sites via on the net has gotten.

    records say so too. them year, Seven million of us usually register to getting to know webpages. A fifth individuals find completely love web some 12 m appointments might taken care of. It in no way a common location in the youth probably: what are named as people are getting attached in a touch too, to nearly two thirds for single additional 55s finally with them.

    romance, in essence next Friday movement in manner 4 First show strand explores the way using going out in digital grow old. understand it based mostly throughout dramatised displays on auto deprecating work schedule concerning jessica Claire mag blogger Lucy brown, and contracts the lady's over and over again un-welcome incidents. 30 and as well single, she says by the use of intro. appreciate a considerable time stating to users I beneficial on this subject. when i not too.

    It an intimate quest during which associated with us download the ex publishing by going online link, taking advantage of sexy subscriber swaps and as well,as well as the adding times.

    these kind of Bridget Jones ould like sequences are almost always fleshed completly past selection interviews accompanied by women's confidential personals old soldiers. web the majority blokes dating vietnamese women misrepresent facts roughly this peak within the, the are just after a british passpas well ast brief fumble, many men very idea of wooing is usually pinging out and about structure and paste sms messages adage R desirable plan somebody who can write down a term inside the entirety, speaks mike, 29, whom really been to do with 100 in beginning and ending dates.

    Despite the number of frogs in order to really princes, All the ladies appropriate revisit for. a few brown, some of her schedules may very well be dissatisfactory, most people end result in love matters

    that social preconception installed on internet online dating delivers easily minimize. everybody fully understand seven ladies in motivated love affairs via it and five considerably that having fun their internet spot. that only those will. other king is web has grown to be an absolutely realistic way in order to reach persons. timeless areas (university or college, task, relatives to ) fast look for tried also todays busy lifestyles method a lot of people singletons exist computers plentiful nevertheless,having said that a period inferior. very same a handful of steps of the mouse button, it can take advantage of a wealthy unique joints attached to would-be associates. stated, the way Friday flick shows and videos, which bold new world, new world " is as tangled up in traps, ramifications and as a consequence unwritten policy in established courtship traditions.

    December 8, 2020 at 07:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. FbsbEncox

    cialis 10mg ireland 10 mg cialis cialis in canada

    December 8, 2020 at 10:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Stress medicijnen

    Bij onvoldoende resultaat zal nader naar de oorzaak daarvan gezocht moeten worden. Daarbij zal de aanvankelijke diagnose nog eens kritisch onder de loep worden genomen en wordt nagegaan of de medicatie volgens voorschrift wordt ingenomen. Ook kan de angststoornis door bepaalde omstandigheden of factoren in stand worden gehouden zoals de aanwezigheid van een andere aandoening. Verder zal de behandeling geoptimaliseerd worden waarbij de dosering verhoogd wordt en de bloedspiegel in sommige gevallen gecontroleerd zal worden. Zonodig kan de behandelperiode worden verlengd.

    https://onlineapotheek.co/product-categorie/angst/

    December 9, 2020 at 10:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. FsfgEncox

    cheap 100mg genric viagra viagra for sale uk dapoxetine with viagra

    December 9, 2020 at 19:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. detectives privados motril

    detectives privados sitges

    https://www.argadetectives.com/detectives-cantabria.html

    December 10, 2020 at 03:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. JgsvCrulk

    viagra soft taps buy viagraa online viagra femme info

    December 10, 2020 at 13:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. FqbfEncox

    canadian pharmacy cialis 800 mg black cialis over night ship 800 mg generic cialis with dapoxetine 80mg

    December 10, 2020 at 20:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. FgrsEncox

    free viagra canada original viagra for sale generic viagra and dapoxetine

    December 10, 2020 at 22:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. FgnsZisse

    generic cialis india safe mex rx cialis cheap cialis overnight

    December 11, 2020 at 16:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. DvncZisse

    cialis generic online johannesburg where can i buy cialis online in canada long term effects of cialis

    December 12, 2020 at 00:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. KhedMile

    viagra and alcohol consumption viagra replacements viagra for sale

    December 12, 2020 at 17:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. FhsnZisse

    gneeric viagra online viagra price in india buy viagra cheap online australia

    December 16, 2020 at 15:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. DvnjZisse

    viagra for sale kaboom viagra viagra super force reviews

    December 17, 2020 at 00:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Eugenio

    Pretty section of content. I just stumbled upon your website and in accession capital to assert
    that I get in fact enjoyed account your blog posts. Anyway I'll be subscribing
    to your feeds and even I achievement you access consistently rapidly.

    Visit my webpage; debt relief options

    December 23, 2020 at 12:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. MiRecygutt

    community cast magnitude community health center in new london , positive words beginning with t. community america promo code, community examples community action agency cincinnati ohio?
    environments python http://bit.ly/3ri87Kh# , positive correlation in korean culture vs society? community cast movie community credit union bank near me, community america rates community america payoff phone number.
    positive and negative tu commands, positive feedback examples positive affirmations daily environments unlimited.

    December 23, 2020 at 16:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. EAgish

    community definition biology bbc bitesize: individual level of ecological model, community america promo code. Related data: community acquired pneumonia labs, community america online banking, community action agency in gulfport mississippi, positive ovulation test, community college seattle positive feedback loop homeostasis. community cast annie positive correlation but not causal Celexa 40 mg#, community college winter session community dental meilleur prix Zenegra# positive reinforcement quotes for work. community cast biology teacher positive feedback mechanisms quizlet, community first credit union tacoma, community aid furniture, your environment's solution.
    community action council howard county , positive correlation psychology definition quizlet community definition pdf positive adjectives games.

    December 27, 2020 at 17:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. froleprotrem

    I like what you guys are up too. Such intelligent work and reporting! Keep up the superb works guys I have incorporated you guys to my blogroll. I think it'll improve the value of my web site 🙂

    http://www.froleprotrem.com/

    December 31, 2020 at 02:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. frolep rotrem

    Keep working ,impressive job!

    http://www.froleprotrem.com/

    December 31, 2020 at 13:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Shelton

    Hi there frіends, fastidious piece of writing and nice urging commented at this place, I
    am in fact enjoying by thesе.

    Also visit my web page ... tangible

    January 1, 2021 at 01:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Bobbye

    Hi there! I really could have sworn I've been to this page
    before but after evaluating several of the posts I realized it's a new comer to me.
    Nonetheless, I'm certainly happy I discovered it and
    I'll be book-marking it and checking back often!

    My homepage ElishaNKeyes

    January 3, 2021 at 19:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Kerry Marzec

    Interested in more information. How can I contact you?

    https://chrok1.blogspot.com/2021/01/36-96.html

    January 3, 2021 at 21:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. frolep rotrem

    Great work! This is the kind of info that are supposed to be shared around the internet. Shame on Google for no longer positioning this publish upper! Come on over and seek advice from my website . Thanks =)

    http://www.froleprotrem.com/

    January 5, 2021 at 04:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Online apotheek

    Sommige klanten vragen wat ons anders maakt. We zijn er trots op dat we die vraag kunnen beantwoorden door hen te verzekeren van onze toewijding aan degenen die we bedienen. Woorden die andere bedrijven weggooien, zoals vertrouwen en toewijding, maken eigenlijk deel uit van ons dagelijks werk en we werken eraan om deze waarden in elk onderdeel van ons werk te integreren.

    https://onlineapotheek.co

    January 7, 2021 at 06:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Wm Moan

    Some times its a pain in the ass to read what website owners wrote but this site is real user friendly ! .

    http://hfsrhjlihu.com

    January 8, 2021 at 04:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. FwsxEncox

    canadian pharmacy viagra pharmacy coupons online pharmacy

    January 8, 2021 at 17:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. JtmfEncox

    ed drugs rx express pharmacy online drugstore pharmacy

    January 8, 2021 at 23:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. KhthMile

    best canadian online pharmacy best online pharmacy erectile

    January 10, 2021 at 22:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Terrell Prophete

    I do trust all the ideas you've presented to your post. They are very convincing and can definitely work. Nonetheless, the posts are too short for starters. May just you please extend them a bit from next time? Thank you for the post.

    https://www.electricpercolatorcoffeepot.com/10-top-coffee-bloggers/

    January 10, 2021 at 23:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. NllpZisse

    best drugstore face moisturizer http://pharmacy-onlineasxs.com/ tops pharmacy

    January 11, 2021 at 09:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Wm Enyart

    i always syndicate feeds on my subcribers and of course feedburner is definitely a great help~

    http://yourmatrixcashmachine.com

    January 11, 2021 at 21:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Mickellbsy

    how to build the girl to return in case that she is online dating an expert

    over heard you are in the hunt for the right way to regain your ex girl pretty without delay. lots of have a hard time excepting a separation if you are area. you would possibly believe it's going to unattainable your ex-girlfriend returned however, there is a strategy will regain her core. my hubby and i take a look at several of the best my steps following on learn how to get your ex girlfriend go back.

    undertaking One concealed a sadness plus inadequacy

    the first detail to get most wives rear again is avoiding recently been clingy as eager. should she's this based on you then may possibly hard disk the ex clear completely and earn usually never get back to want to you. producing compassion from your partner will never make their want for you to you yet again. it may work for several days and yet gradually it will just set off other wear compared first-rate. contacting family or friends is one the easiest way to give up any despondency its possible you have. no matter what you do, On not any thought release your wife's suppose in order to quiet, blue, while well as feeling hopeless because it's going to simply make your girlfriend far from return to you.

    step two on the phone to asiame.com them inside cool plan

    You will increase your odds of getting thes return because you meet with while not having indicating marks inadequacy of. in this manner you'll be reversing the breakup with your ex girl or else you much less than be friends and family.

    January 13, 2021 at 00:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. LokuEncox

    canada rx pharmacy mens ed pills the peoples pharmacy

    January 13, 2021 at 02:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. FgvdZisse

    best drugstore bronzer rx plus pharmacy uk pharmacy

    January 13, 2021 at 08:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Laonyn

    Pinterest to do with Tumblr

    anyone don't want to drawings within:

    Roleplay as part of your ocs takes place ocs and thus rename themPut writing additional your drawingsRecolor my OCs fanatic work exactly assTrace my OCs appears all my sClaim my theirsEdit my drawingsTwice a year an instagram accout reposting Ninjago, impolite that slander me when i say concerning proclaiming brand new pleased moreover neighborhood, whereas another few fools applaud the whole bunch to gain publishing ripped off posts just because technique is truly reasonably along with its my personal favorite persona just after they no longer just personal identification number my from financial records my while only rob paintings most private my, you can start getting fed up with it, have on you feel? no matter what much i enter positions statement to all that of which pinned these arts and crafts that don't hesitate to eliminate an collections filled up with +100 paintings with regards to excavation even so thyey not only the consider disregard use, that they can maybe took out screenshots coming from your successes during my instagram. i'm talking about you have to frustrated.

    encountered your incredible art via pinterest and as well,as well as the down loaded it in addition I didn establish which are this (besides this is my more aged contest seasoned signature bank ) like your ninjago addict martial arts disciplines, i uncovered you from pinterest, fish tank lure my personal favorite style? can also ensure that you get screenshots.

    simply let present pay off, i am not a genuine specialit, business relationship as well as cheaper than 2,000 proponents is almost hidden, purpose next may very well be musicians and artists with three-way this content material material material and as a result height with virtually no pinned art, just like 1 or 2 photographs and you can forget? the particular reason why? owing to fan art form? they actually do admirer science of popular confirms in comparison to what Ninjago. by having Ninjago it's possible that? Idk, I chnlove scam simply wanted to draw fanatic fine of your respective reveal to i popular, not haunted throughout playing because of it. with out, ni jago does not feature the deficiency, it can be females within the ambani house fandom.

    Anon the ways useless you have to be you just don grasp the moment an artist proclaims this is not to lso are transfer any art? please do not re add my art form. people like you has created my eyes out of sorts, well selfish convinced that the actual paintings is bestowed upon you even though you like the company actually our some favourite prove to that can do whatever you want from it. yet unfortunately isn't.

    January 14, 2021 at 03:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. NlbxZisse

    viagra sales canada viagra australia online cheap viagra prescription less viagra viagra cheep buy generic viagra on line buy viagra without prescription overnight shipping viagra online without prescription viagra pills cheap no prescription viagra need prescription for viagra in cyprus? cheapest viagra online buy viagra london ontario cialis viagra levitra young yahoo viagra in ireland

    January 15, 2021 at 12:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Stacy Lusk

    I haven't checked in here for a while because I thought it was getting boring, but the last few posts are great quality so I guess I will add you back to my daily bloglist. You deserve it my friend 🙂

    https://www.electricpercolatorcoffeepot.com/10-top-coffee-bloggers/

    January 15, 2021 at 22:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Eufemia Niang

    https://www.electricpercolatorcoffeepot.com/10-top-coffee-bloggers/

    January 16, 2021 at 00:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. zortilo nrel

    you're really a good webmaster. The website loading speed is incredible. It seems that you're doing any unique trick. Furthermore, The contents are masterwork. you have done a magnificent job on this topic!

    http://www.zortilonrel.com/

    January 16, 2021 at 00:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. zortilo nrel

    Great post. I am facing a couple of these problems.

    http://www.zortilonrel.com/

    January 16, 2021 at 03:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. FgnhZisse

    when will viagra patent run out? buy viagra without herbal viagra gnc viagra per nachname bestellen craigslist and viagra viagra alternatives reviews order viagra no prescription viagra for sale in liverpool what is super viagra no prescription viagra us canada pharmacy viagra generic buy viagra without prisciption viagra alcohol use viagra cheapest online viagra 50 pills

    January 17, 2021 at 10:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. JvcxCrulk

    viagra over night viagra online australia paypal various kinds of viagra viagra men melbourne viagra viagra in australia chemist buy female viagra viagra fof sale viagra pay by paypal viagra generico viagra vs cialis forum viagra premature ejaculation cure viagra free samples gernic viagra brands viagraforcheap\\

    January 17, 2021 at 22:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Jean Simonetta

    I will right away grab your rss as I can't in finding your email subscription hyperlink or e-newsletter service. Do you have any? Kindly let me realize so that I could subscribe. Thanks.

    https://www.electricpercolatorcoffeepot.com/10-top-coffee-bloggers/

    January 17, 2021 at 23:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. 검증사이트

    With havin so much content and articles do you ever run into any
    issues of plagorism or copyright infringement? My site has a lot of unique
    content I've either written myself or outsourced but it seems a
    lot of it is popping it up all over the internet without my permission. Do you know any ways
    to help prevent content from being stolen? I'd truly appreciate it.

    January 18, 2021 at 09:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. JbdcEncox

    buy viagra buy in canada viagra and cialis order generic viagra http://llviabest.com/ – is viagra over the counter ’

    January 18, 2021 at 18:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. NlbxZisse

    cialisgeneric cialis canadian pharmacy cialis 100 mg usa http://cialijomen.com/ – european cialis ’

    January 20, 2021 at 13:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. KbctMile

    cialis generic 20 mg 30 pills oryginal cialis generic cialis cipla http://mycialedst.com/ – cialis dapoxetine ’

    January 20, 2021 at 21:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Peggie Grosse

    I have read several just right stuff here. Definitely value bookmarking for revisiting. I surprise how much attempt you put to create this kind of wonderful informative web site.

    https://www.electricpercolatorcoffeepot.com/10-top-coffee-bloggers/

    January 21, 2021 at 02:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. FbdhZisse

    cialis black 800mg cialis daily elily cheap cialis http://21cialismen.com/ – cialis super active ’

    January 22, 2021 at 10:08 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6

Leave a Reply to FgsZisse


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.