Panic Disorder Treatment: Escaping a Paralyzing Disease
I offer intensive treatment for panic disorder in Scottsdale, Arizona. I specialize in the treatment of panic disorder, panic attacks and agoraphobia by integrating cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), exposure therapy and psychopharmacological techniques. Utilizing this comprehensive approach I target the paralyzing symptoms of panic, fear, anxiety and depression that often are debilitating. In addition to immediate symptom relief, I target the underlying cause of the anxiety disorder by utilizing psychotherapeutic modalities which uncover the potential psychological source of the panic disorder.
My unique approach to treatment for panic disorder involves the following 4 components:
1. Medication to alleviate immediate symptoms and stabilize the anxiety in order to allow a person to remain comfortable enough to begin addressing the underlying cause of the anxiety. (I work with people who also do not want to take medication and prefer to try other treatment modalities first)
2. Exposure therapy and Cognitive-behavioral therapy- Utilizing specialized types of therapies we work to de-condition your most feared response which will allow you to regain the ability to live life without being in fear of the panic itself. Click here to read more on my approach to exposure therapy
3. Psychodynamic psychotherapy- This component looks to explore the root of the problem and often leads to an exploration of childhood, past trauma and any other inciting psychological events that may have triggered an over-active fear circuit within the brain. Addressing the underlying psychological origin will help to prevent symptoms from returning and truly work to “fix” the problem.
4. Medical and medication evaluation- A key part of my assessment involves looking for any possible medical reasons for panic disorder such as thyroid disease, auto-immune disease, para-neoplastic syndromes and medication induced anxiety. As a psychiatrist, I am able to identify these underlying medical problems that may be contributing and ensure they are treated appropriately.
Treatment involves either in-office or in-home treatment depending on the severity and preference of the patient. I specialize in treating mild to the most severe cases of anxiety, including severe agoraphobia where one is house-bound.
Often the goal is to utilize the medication only short-term, as an important initial step while the other therapy modalities are learned and mastered. When necessary changes are made, therapy is successfully completed and behavioral changes are made in the way one approaches life in general, medication is often able to be weaned off and not needed. This is both a personal preference and a clinical decision I help someone make depending on the specific situation and the severity of the problem. I always work achieve the goal of the patient.