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Ask Dr. Kaushik Your Own Question
Dr. Kaushik
Dr. Kaushik, Psychiatrist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4486
Experience:  MD Psychiatry
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i have suffered with bad depression in the past, at the moment

Resolved Question:

i have suffered with bad depression in the past, at the moment i have been having panic attacks that can lead to self-harm. I am very scared by this, it usually happens when i get very stressed or am very tired, i really don't know if there is anything wrong with me, or what support i need.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Kaushik replied 7 years ago.
Hi there,</p><p> </p><p>Welcome to Just Answer !

Well, i can understand how frustrating it must have been for you to endure the present symptoms , but please do not mind my saying this , but i need to know , how are you so sure that you are suffering from panic attacks , have you been formally diagnosed with panic attack (pa) by a doctor , or is it that you have self asessed your own situation and have drawn conclusion?

Any how , i would like yo ask a few questions , which will help me in establishing your diagnosis of Panic attack. Kindly answer the queries against their numbers.

1) do you suffer from sudden episodes consisting of fearfulness, feeling of impending doom, chest tightness , increased and pounding heart beat which is felt by you, excessive sweating during the episode , excessive anxiety , breathlessness. Please note that all symptoms may not be present at the same time , but even if some of these are occurring in episodes , which subside on their own in few minutes , then please say yes.

2) Since how many days are you having these symptoms?

3) What all medications are you placed upon?

Kindly answer the queries , and i shall get back to you with an appropriate reply.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
in response to your questions one is YES, and 2.) three days now, and i am taking no medications. Although i was on anti-depressants about 6 months ago, i do take the pill and sometimes hebal rememdies to calm me.
Expert:  Dr. Kaushik replied 7 years ago.
Thanks for the reply.

Well, from your answers to my questions , i believe indeed it is Panic Attacks(PA) that you are suffering from , but nothing to worry , as PANIC ATTACKS ARE VERY much Treatable . But , you will have to be consistent in taking the drugs which i am mentioning below for 3-4 months , after which you may slowly withdraw them .

Also , since the medications i am mentioning here for your Panic Attacks are not available over the counter so you consult your doctor / psychiatrist to get them prescribed. So, the drugs which you are to be placed upon in order to achieve complete remission( control) of PANIC ATTACKS are--

1) 1 good Anti anxiety drug such as Clonazepam or Buspirone or Etizolam , to be taken twice a day , ask your doctor to decide the dose of any one of the chosen above , accordingly. And , for your information, the mentioned anti anxiety drugs are with least side effects and do not impair the normal daily routine as they do not cause drowsiness / slopiness, so rest assured they are safe drugs by all means .

2) 1 good Anti depressant needs to be added to the already mentioned 1 anti anxiety drug , as you see , anti depressants are good anti anxiety drugs , and panic attack is a type of anxiety disorder , so the combination of anti anxiety and anti depressant drug is very effective in the treatment of PA.Some good anti depressants used in PA are -- Venlafaxine extended release capsule, or paroxetine or sertraline or escitalopram ,only one of the lot has to be chosen by your doctor and let him decide the dose and time of intake of the drug.

3) PSYCHOTHERAPY ( COUNSELING) -- Psychotherapy that is counseling in lay terms , is considered as effective as drug therapy in the treatment of PA , but , usually it is difficult to find a good psychotherapist or clinical psychologist who deals in counseling . However , for giving you another option , the best psychotherapy for PA is Cognitive behavioural therapy ( CBT) , which is a short duration therapy , takes place in sessions.

SO , KINDLY discuss the above mentioned treatment regime with your doctor , and start on the best possible treatment, and i am sure this will treat your PA symptoms , just be patient for inital 2-3 weeks with the drugs as they require this much time to reach their peak action in the body.

I wish you rapid recovery to the best of health.

I hope my answer serves your query according to your satisfaction.

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