What is the most effective treatment for panic disorder? I am sick of feeling so awful.

QUESTION:I have been struggling with panic disorder for over 10 years and am beginning to lose hope. I no longer go out and do the things I used to love, for fear that I will have a panic attack. Nothing seems to make the panic go away. What can I do?

DR. DEBRA KISSEN'S RESPONSE:

DR. DEBRA KISSEN'S RESPONSE: The good news, when it comes to panic disorder, is that it is highly treatable. It is a painfully disabling disorder until you obtain the right treatment, and then freedom is only moments away. When shopping for prospective mental health providers to assist you with panic disorder, the key term you want to hear is "interoceptive exposure". If a therapist does not offer this component of the panic treatment protocol, you would be best served to continue searching until you find someone who does. The key to moving past panic is to train your brain to no longer fear the sensations and thoughts associated with panic. It will always be uncomfortable to experience panic like sensations, but it won't be terrifying. This new association with panic sensations will break the cycle of fearing fear, which only leads to more fear/panic. Thanks for posting this important question. Sending healing thoughts your way, Dr. Debra Kissen