Treatment of panic disorder includes psychotherapy and medication. A combination of psychotherapy and medication typically produces good results.
Interoceptive therapy is a type of therapy where clinicians induce the symptoms of panic disorder, allowing patients to confront them in a controlled environment.
Symptoms include one or more of the following:
- Intentional hyperventilation to create lightheadedness
- Spinning in a chair to create dizziness
- Straw breathing to create airway constriction, or dyspnea
- Breath holding to create the sensation of being out of breath
- Running in place to create increased heart rate
- Body tensing to create feelings of being tense
Inducing common symptoms of panic disorder through interoceptive therapy allows the patient, when accompanied by a therapist, to confront the conflicts underlying panic disorder.
Medication is another type of treatment option. There are appropriate medications for panic disorder. They include antidepressants such as SSRIs, tricyclic antidepressants, and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors; anti-anxiety drugs such as benzodiazepines; and caffeine withdrawal.