Question: I recently started suffering panic attacks. They seem to happen most often when I am driving. Does this mean I will constantly be this way and may even have a disorder that should be treated?
Dr. Hibberd’s answer:
Panic attacks that are limited to certain settings are eminently treatable by cognitive behavioral therapy.
You should consult a psychiatrist experienced in CBT techniques (not many are), and in the meantime, see your primary-care physician for some preventive management until you have a good handle on controlling this without prescription drugs.
Inderal works very well for mild situation-induced stage fright and may be worth a try before using tranquilizers that may affect your ability to drive. Some antidepressants, such as Lexapro have excellent anxiety-relieving effects without the sedation seen with Valium or Xanax.
If your symptoms are concerning enough for you to ask about treatment, they are indeed worth treating.
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