Have you ever had a panic attack? Drs. Ryan and Olivia Lee, psychiatric nurse practitioners in Scottsdale, AZ are well-versed in the treatment of panic attacks. Please contact us to discuss our treatment options and availability!
What is a panic attack?
Panic attacks, or panic disorder, is a type of anxiety disorder that is characterized by an abrupt surge of intense fear, anxiety, and emotional distress. Physical manifestations of panic attacks can include heart palpitations, chest tightness, shortness of breath, tremulousness, perspiration, nausea, and numbness. The intense fear-based emotions elicited by a panic attack can be very disruptive to day-to-day life and make it difficult for individuals to function. Sometimes individuals who suffer from panic attacks will avoid places or situations that it would be difficult or embarrassing to leave if one were to experience a panic attack. Examples of this include going to work, school, or crowded public places. These additional symptoms of panic disorder are known as agoraphobia.
How can I prevent a panic attack from happening?
Historically, panic attacks have been treated with a combination of exposure therapy and medications known as benzodiazepines. In general, exposure therapies involve incrementally exposing an individual with panic disorder to stimuli that may trigger a panic attack. Our providers at High and Grounded acknowledge that these types of therapies, although effective, can be stressful for patients. As such, our providers make sure that our patients are well-resourced with additional tools to help them with affect regulation such as mindfulness and good self-care.
Our providers at High and Grounded maintain a judicious approach to medication management. We take into account the risks and benefits of medications, and this includes the risk of addiction and forming dependency. As such, we are mindful when using medications such as benzodiazepines. Medications such as Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are a much safer alternatives in treating panic disorders and can decrease the severity and frequency of panic attacks. Other medications that can be effective in treating panic disorders include buspirone (Buspar), neurontin (Gabapentin), and propranolol (Inderal).