If you are suffering from panic disorder, then you have two options:
- Take a medication such as Klonopin or antidepressants
- Try to treat the problem with home treatments or therapy
For people with severe panic disorder, medications are the preferred treatment route. And, amongst medications, Klonopin is a leader because it produces quick benefits but without the high risk of addiction that comes with other benzodiazepines. Antidepressants may also be effective in treatment but they take several weeks for benefits to be evident. Further, antidepressants are usually better for cases of mixed anxiety and depressive disorder, not panic disorder in which immediate relief of symptoms is needed.
All medications for panic disorder come with some side effects and risks though. Klonopin is especially known for causing hangover-like symptoms such as dizziness or impaired memory. In rare cases, it can cause serious problems and may lead to a drug addiction.
If panic disorder medicines are risky, then why are they so commonly prescribed?
All medicines must be studied for risks before they can be approved. While the approval process is complex, there is one basic underlying guideline which determines whether a medicine is approved or not: the benefits of the medicine must outweigh the risks. With Klonopin, the benefits are nearly immediate relief of symptoms so the patient can live a healthy life.
It is important to realize that untreated panic disorder can also cause severe problems. Untreated panic disorder often gets worse and develops into other mental health disorders like agoraphobia and clinical depression. These problems can lead to further problems and serious consequences like suicide. If you do not want to use Klonopin or antidepressants for panic disorder, then therapy such as CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) have been found effective.
Because panic disorder can deteriorate into much more severe conditions, most doctors will recommend that CBT be used along with a medicine like Klonopin. As the patient makes progress, then the medicine can be tapered off in a controlled environment.
What to Expect when taking Klonopin for Panic Disorder
If your doctor decides that Klonopin is the right treatment for your panic disorder, then you will likely experience relief of symptoms right away. Just because you don’t experience symptoms, it doesn’t mean that your panic disorder is cured. If you stop taking Klonopin, your symptoms could come back. That is why it is so important to undergo additional treatments while taking Klonopin, such as CBT.
Some of the methods used in CBT can be very emotionally stressful, such as exposure therapy in which the patient is systematically exposed to the situation which causes a panic attack. With Klonopin to alleviate symptoms, CBT becomes a much easier process. For short-term treatment of panic disorder, benzodiazepine drugs like Klonopin have shown most effective. But CBT has shown to be the most effective long-term treatment. In studies, the combination of these two treatments have shown to give the best short and long-term results even after treatment was discontinued.