Talking to Your Doctor About Panic Disorder
You have your own health past. Talk with your doctor about your risk factors and background with panic disorder. Talking openly and often with your doctor will let you have an active role in your care.
General Tips for Gathering Information
Here are some tips that will make it easier for you to talk to your doctor:
- Bring someone else with you. It helps to have them hear what is said and think of questions to ask.
- Write out your questions before you go to the doctor. This way you will not forget them.
- Write down the answers you get. Make sure you grasp what you are hearing. Ask for help, if needed.
- Speak up. Ask your questions or ask where you can find more information. You have a right to know.
Specific Questions to Ask Your Doctor
About Panic Disorder
- Are my fears, panic attacks, and other symptoms normal with panic disorder?
- Can you do a full physical to rule out other illnesses?
- Are you trained to treat people with panic disorder? If not, can you send me to someone who does?
About Treatment Options
- What treatment options are available for panic disorder?
- If I need medicine, how long will it take to work? What benefits should I expect? What side effects should I watch for?
- Can you recommend counselors who treat people with panic disorder?
- If you decide to try counseling, interview counselors and find one with whom you feel comfortable. You should ask about:
- Their experience in treating panic disorder
- How they treat it
- How long it takes
- How long the sessions are and how often they are needed
- What health insurance can be used
- The costs and if they if there is financial help
About Lifestyle Changes
- What changes in my life will help control symptoms? Such as:
- Relaxation and stress control
- What is the best way to blend these together?
About Your Outlook
- What are my chances of getting better from panic disorder?
- Do I need to be treated to get better?
- Can panic disorder or related conditions come back? What can I do to keep this from happening?
- Can you help me find a support group?
- Answers to your questions about panic disorder. American Psychological Association website. Available at: http://www.apa.org/topics/anxiety/panic-disorder.aspx. Accessed February 22, 2019.
- Panic disorder. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115030/Panic-disorder. Updated September 21, 2018. Accessed February 22, 2019.
- Tips for talking to your doctor. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: https://familydoctor.org/tips-for-talking-to-your-doctor. Updated January 19, 2018. Accessed February 22, 2019.
- Adrian Preda, MD
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