Are you taking medication to stop panic attacks? Make today the day you put yourself on the road to becoming medication free… It is important that you NEVER stop taking prescription medication without permission from your doctor or healthcare professional. You should work with your doctor to construct plan to stop panic attacks without medication by slowly reducing your reliance over time, in close collobaration with your doctor. Otherwise, you just might find yourself saddled with an addiction which, like Natalie’s, started out quite innocently.
When the mom of two started having panic attacks, she made a mad dash for the E.R, convinced she was having a heart attack. Her doctor prescribed a common anxiety medication: Valium. Valium worked. It calmed Natalie quickly and she was able to stop panic attacks — but it also got her hooked.
For 44-year-old Carl, showing up for work at the advertising agency he runs is bearable only because he has Xanax. Crazy deadlines, highly demanding clients, and never-ending staffing woes keep his stress level at an all-time high. He copes by popping a Xanax or two every time he feels the tell-tale signs of a panic attack coming on and by doing this he is able to stop panic attacks.
What do Natalie and Carl have in common aside from an addiction to benzodiazepines?
They’re both excellent examples of why it’s best to stop panic attacks without resorting to medication!
Unfortunately, they’re not the only ones. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, roughly 6 million Americans suffered prescription pill addiction in 2009. Imagine what the figure must be today.
Now, you’re probably thinking, “What’s so bad about being hooked to your medication? If it stops panic attacks, then it’s a good thing, right?” WRONG. It’s never a good idea to pop a pill each time you go through a panic attack. Here’s why.
1. It’s Addictive – Studies show that as many as 50% of the patients with Valium prescriptions for at least six months become physically dependent on the drug even if it is effective and stops panic attacks…
2. It’s Effective Only in the Short Term – Do you know that benzodiazepines like Valium and Xanax can stop being effective after several weeks or months of regular use? They lose their efficacy because the longer you use them, the more your body develops tolerance to these drugs.
In separate statements, the Royal College of Psychiatrists in the UK and the Committee on Safety of Medicines pointed out that benzodiazepines should never be used long term. They should only be taken for 2 to 4 weeks, tops.
3. It Comes With Side Effects – On the face of it, the side effects don’t seem so bad. Fatigue, constant drowsiness, mental confusion, coordination problems—it’s not really impossible to put up with these, right? But here’s worse news: withdrawal symptoms are much worse. If you’ve been medicating for some time and then you stop, expect to suffer fever, anxiety, headache, insomnia, dizziness, psychosis, and even seizures! It may stop panic attacks, but can introduce a whole host of other issues.
4. It’s expensive – Online, 90 tablets of 2mg Xanas go for $309. How long can you keep on forking over this cash to support your pill habit?
5. It Does Not Really Solve the Problem – Here’s how panic attack medications work to stop panic attacks: they either interrupt your brain as it interprets the panic signals it’s receiving, or they block these signals themselves! In other words, these medications make you panic-free by making you incapable of feeling panic—for a few hours or so, anyway. But here’s the thing: thinking you’re panic-free and actually being panic-free are two different things.
Stop Panic Attacks by Treating the Underlying Cause
Panic attacks have an underlying cause. Unless you go to the root of the problem and remedy that, you can take all the medications in the world and still get nowhere, health-wise.
Yes, you can stop panic attacks—but no, the answer is not necessarily inside a capsule. To get rid of panic attacks for good, go to the root of the problem. What causes each attack? When? Find out what triggers your attacks to begin with, and then learn how you can avoid these triggers. Keep in mind that the only sustainable way to stop panic attacks is to do so drug-free, so work with your doctor to put together a personal plan for you so that you can stop panic attacks without unduly relying on prescription medications.