Welcome to JA. My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed psychotherapist in private practice in NYS. I am preparing my reply and will post in one moment.
Hello, I am so sorry to her your wife is struggling with panic attacks and anxiety. Yes, unfortunately the ER Department is symptoms based intervention and yes their recommendation would be to reduce or eliminate the symptoms of panic as quickly as possible. Xanax is a very effective short acting medication but does have side effects and can be very addictive. The most effective treatment for anxiety and panic is the combination of an SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor) medication (non addictive, longer lasting; her physician can prescribe) and CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) to get to the underlying causes of the anxiety. Oftentimes a person who is suffering from anxiety has a belief from past or current experiences that they are not safe. please tell your wife that she can lessen the symptoms if she tells herself that her symptoms are innocent and harmless. That she is safe and she will be okay. Also if she can focus on something positive in her life that she enjoys such as a good movie, lunch with a friend, etc. There is a good workbook that can be ordered online called Anxiety and Phobia that can help her understand her triggers and techniques to manage her symptoms. I hope this information is helpful. as awful as anxiety and panic are the good news is that they are very treatable. Please let me know if I can help you any further. and please take a moment to rate my service to you as this is the only way we are compensated for our service. Thank you. Sincerely, ***** ***** LMSW, CASAC