Questions & Answers: Does cognitive behavior therapy help panic attacks?

Questions & Answers: Does cognitive behavior therapy help panic attacks?

Q. How well does cognitive behavior therapy work for panic disorder?

A. Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is a good treatment for panic attacks — sudden, intense surges of anxiety accompanied by uncomfortable physical symptoms that resemble the "fight or flight" response evoked by real dangers. The heart rate increases, blood is routed to leg and arm muscles, and you feel aroused, alert, and afraid. It is extraordinarily distressing when these symptoms appear without an obvious cause. During a panic attack, people often think they are having a life-threatening medical crisis — for example a heart attack or respiratory illness.

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