People dealing with substance use disorder usually have co occurring mental health condition. One of the most common is panic disorder. What treats panic disorder from addiction?
There are a number of treatments that can be effective in treating panic disorder and the most common is medication-assisted therapies. These treatments can help reduce symptoms and improve quality of life for those who suffer from co-occurring disorders. In this article, let us learn more about panic disorder, how it affects those suffering from substance abuse, and what you can do to manage and overcome it.
What is Panic Disorder?
Panic disorder is an anxiety disorder characterized by panic attacks. Among Americans, the National Institutes on Mental Disorders have found a higher rate of stress in their lives compared to those who are not suffering. Common causes include:
- A family history of generalized anxiety disorder or panic disorder
- Exposure to traumatic events such as abuse, violence, or natural disasters (post traumatic stress disorder)
- Having another mental health disorder such as depression
- Other conditions affecting mental health like substance use disorder and social anxiety disorder
Panic disorder and substance abuse often co-occur. In fact, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, about 50% of those with panic disorder also have a substance abuse problem. This is not surprising as people who have panic disorder often turn to substances like alcohol or drugs to try to cope with their condition. Common prescription medicines include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and central nervous system depressants.
Why do people with addiction problem experience panic attacks?
People with drug and alcohol abuse problem are more likely to experience panic attacks for a variety of reasons. One reason may be due to the fact that substances can act as triggers for panic attacks. Another reason may be that people with addiction problems often have co-occurring mental disorders, such as anxiety disorder or depression, which can increase the likelihood of experiencing panic attack.
Among the addicted population, those with panic disorder often suffer from a number of other problems, including:
- A higher rate of substance abuse
- A higher rate of suicide attempts
- More difficulty in maintaining employment
- More difficulty in maintaining personal relationships
- More legal problems
While these symptoms in general could indicate a wide variety of mental illnesses, including borderline personality disorder, its important to be aware of your panic disorder symptoms and treating them will help you in dealing and sticking with your overall addiction treatment plan. Catching co occurring panic disorder early will make a positive impact for your recovery.
Symptoms of panic disorder
The Psychiatric Association has listed the symptoms that are indicative of panic attacks. Formal panic attacks can have four or more particular symptoms listed below.
- chest pain
- shortness of breath
- heart palpitations
- trembling or shaking
- sensations of choking or smothering
- nausea or abdominal pain
- feeling dizzy, unsteady, light-headed, or faint
- chills or heat sensations
- paresthesia (numbing or tingling sensations)
- derealization (feelings of unreality) or depersonalization (being detached from oneself)
- fear of losing control or “going crazy”
- fear of dying
Symptoms usually peak within 10 minutes, but may last for 30 minutes to an hour. Sometimes panic attacks are spontaneous but may arise when there’s a specific situation or event which can make a person anxious.
Statistics & Causes
The median age at which panic attacks occurred was 24. In the United States alone, about 2 % of people will suffer from a panic attack and women have a greater likelihood of suffering from a mental disorder than males do. There is currently no known specific cause for panic attacks, but the theory generally believes that both cellular and genetic factors interact with the disorder. Occasionally, patients with thyroid or cardiovascular health problems experience extreme anxiety disorder attacks also called panic attacks.
Tips in managing panic symptoms and attacks
Here are tips to help you manage anxiety symptoms.
– Understand your triggers: Identify the situations or events that trigger your panic attacks. Once you know what triggers your attacks, you can avoid these triggers or be prepared for them.
– Practice relaxation techniques: There are a number of different relaxation techniques that can help to reduce the symptoms of panic attacks. Some common techniques include deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and visualization.
– Have a balanced diet: Eating a balanced diet can help to improve your overall health and well-being.
– Get regular exercise: Exercise can help to improve your mood and reduce the symptoms of both disorders. Can medical assistants work in physical therapy? Medical assistants working in physical therapy can also be helpful in reducing symptoms of co-occurring disorders. Physical therapy can help to increase strength and flexibility, which can improve quality of life.
– Seek support: There are a number of support groups available for people with panic disorders. These groups can provide you with information and support.
– Seek professional help: If you are having difficulty managing your panic attacks, seek out professional help. A mental health professional can help you to develop a treatment plan that is tailored to your specific needs.
– Follow your treatment plan: If you have a panic disorder, it is important to follow your treatment plan. This can help to reduce the frequency and severity of your attacks.
To manage anxiety disorders, the key is getting to know yourself and taking good care of your body. Eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and get plenty of rest.
If you or someone you know is suffering from substance use disorder with panic attacks as a co-occurring disorder, seeking addiction treatment as soon as possible is the best thing to do. With proper treatment, symptoms can be reduced and quality of life can be improved.
Treatment for Panic Disorder From Addiction
What treats panic disorder from addiction? There are a number of treatments that can be effective in treating panic disorder. One type of treatment that can be effective in treating co-occurring disorders is medication-assisted therapy. This type of therapy uses medications to help reduce symptoms of both disorders.
How do medication-assisted therapies reduce symptoms of co-occurring disorders?
In most cases of addiction, the person is also suffering from another physical or mental health condition like generalized anxiety disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, or withdrawal symptoms. These will be needing prescription drugs. In these cases, drug or alcohol abuse must not be the only one being addressed. Medication-assisted therapies help to reduce symptoms of both disorders, making it easier to manage.
Some common medications that are used in this type of therapy include:
– Antidepressants: These medications can help to reduce the symptoms of anxiety disorders and depression. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are commonly prescribed.
– Anti-anxiety medications: These medications can help to reduce the symptoms of anxiety disorders. Central nervous system depressants are commonly prescribed.
– Beta-blockers: Beta-blockers are commonly prescribed for heart conditions, but they can also be effective in treating anxiety disorders.
– Mood stabilizers: These medications can help to stabilize mood and reduce the symptoms of both disorders. This is more common for substance use disorder clients who are also experiencing bipolar disorder.
These are the common group of medicines that answers what treats panic disorder from addiction. Note that you should always ask for a doctor’s advice before getting any of these medications. Self-medication can do more harm than good.
What are the kinds of therapy for panic attacks from addiction?
The answer to what treats panic disorder from addiction must not be limited to prescription drugs. Treatment for it must always be accompanied by psychosocial and behavioral therapy to address the drug abuse.
There are a number of different types of therapy that can be effective in treating co-occurring disorders. Some common types of therapy include:
– Cognitive-behavioral therapy: This type of therapy can help to change the way you think about and respond to triggers. This can help to reduce the frequency and severity of panic attacks.
– Exposure therapy: This type of therapy can help you to desensitize yourself to the things that trigger your anxiety. This can be done through gradual exposure to the triggers.
-Therapeutic communities: This type of therapy can provide you with support and structure. This can help you to recover from substance abuse and improve your mental health.
-Relaxation techniques: These techniques can help you to relax and reduce the symptoms of both disorders.
These are only some of the therapies available to treat generalized anxiety disorder with panic attacks as a symptom. It is important to speak with a mental health professional to find the best treatment for you.
What to do when having panic attack from substance use disorder?
When someone suddenly experiences a panic attack, there are standard procedures that you can do to remove yourself from the panic state.
First, you need to identify the source of the panic. If it is coming from a real physical threat, then you need to remove yourself from the situation as soon as possible.
If the attack is not coming from a physical source, then you can try to relax your body and slow down your breathing. You can also try to focus on something else, such as a positive memory or your favorite song. If the attack persists, then you should seek professional help.
Next thing you can do is to focus on your 5 senses. Start by looking around the room and identify 5 things that you can see. Then identify 4 things that you can touch, 3 things that you can smell, 2 things that you can hear, and 1 thing that you can taste. This will help to distract your mind from the panic attack and focus on something else.
If after a while and you are still experiencing anxiety symptoms, call someone you trust and tell him/her about the situation. You may also reach for medical help right away or go to the nearest hospital.
When it comes to what treats panic disorder from addiction, there are many options available. Medication-assisted therapies can be effective in reducing the symptoms of co-occurring disorders. Prescription medications, like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, to treat panic disorder must be accompanied with psychosocial support to ensure long-term outcomes and recovery from substance use.
Since cases of panic disorders from drug abuse differ from one person to another, it is important to speak with a mental health professional to find the best treatment plan well-suited for your mental health and social condition.
If you or someone you know suffer from substance use, seek help as soon as possible. Call your local mental health crisis hotline or visit the nearest emergency room near you.