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24 Hour Crisis Care

Panic Disorder Treatment

Have panic attacks made you feel like you’ve lost control over your life? Do you worry that another one is just around the corner? Is a panic disorder making it challenging to accomplish your daily tasks?

You are not alone. In 2021, 32.8% of adults in Delaware reported having symptoms of anxiety or depression, which includes panic disorders. At SUN Behavioral Health Delaware, we solve unmet needs by offering a wide variety of mental health services, including treatment for panic disorders. Our no-cost care assessment empowers individuals to connect with a representative as they design a personalized treatment plan to best suit their individual needs. We’ll collaborate with you and your healthcare providers to determine the most suitable action plan for your needs when it comes to your panic disorder treatment.   

What We Treat: Panic Disorder

The essence of panic disorder lies in the regular occurrence of unexpected panic attacks. These episodes bring about sensations of fear, discomfort, or a perceived loss of control, even without an obvious threat. Physical symptoms often accompany these attacks. 

It's worth noting that people can have panic attacks without having a panic disorder, what distinguishes the disorder is the regularity and unpredictability of these attacks. People diagnosed with panic disorder may frequently worry about having another panic attack. This worry may lead to them changing their daily routines to avoid potential triggers. 

How We Treat: Panic Disorder Treatment and Management at SUN Behavioral Health Delaware

At SUN Behavioral Health Delaware, our mental health services offer inpatient and outpatient options for treating panic disorder. Our team will work with you, your doctors, previous assessments, and previous treatment experiences to design the best action plan for your needs. Through treatment, you can return to the things you’ve avoided and find peace. 

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Inpatient Treatment

For many people who are experiencing a panic disorder, it can feel like they are constantly in a sense of crisis. They might not be able to function in their day-to-day lives because of the symptoms they are experiencing. People with panic disorder may feel like they are unstable and unsure of what will set off a panic attack next. If this is the case for you or your loved one, inpatient treatment may be an appropriate option. 

At SUN Behavioral Health Delaware, we offer inpatient care to adults and adolescents who are experiencing a mental health crisis. Generally, people will stay at our facility between 7 and 14 days for a panic disorder treatment. We will be able to provide you with a sense of stability before you move on to outpatient treatment to continue your path to recovering from a panic disorder. 


Outpatient Treatment

After stabilization through inpatient treatment, the next step is often attending outpatient treatment. How long you will attend an outpatient program depends on your treatment plan and your progression through your treatment. Everyone needs different lengths of time to progress through treatment, and it is not a race to finish treatment first. Treatment often takes time, and that is okay. 

At SUN Behavioral Health Delaware, we offer two levels of outpatient treatment for adults, which are available Monday through Friday. 

Our highest level of outpatient treatment is our partial hospitalization program (PHP). PHP often requires longer hours, 5 days a week. It is a step down from inpatient while allowing you to live at home. You will continue your treatment as decided during your assessment. We also offer PHP to adolescents who have a panic disorder. 

The lowest level of outpatient care we offer is IOP. We only provide this level of care to adults, as we cannot offer it to teens. This level of care meets less often than PHP, allowing you more access to your daily responsibilities. You will continue your treatment from the previous levels of care.

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Panic Attacks: What are They?

Those who experience a panic attack experience a sudden and temporary fear response accompanied by physical symptoms triggered by a non-threatening circumstance. These experiences are not inherently dangerous or damaging, but they impact the well-being of the individuals who experience them. People who experience frequent panic attacks will spend their days worried about when the following incident will occur and actively try to avoid experiencing another one.

Signs of a Panic Attack

Common signs of a panic attack include:

  • Sweating
  • Chills
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Tingly or numb hands
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea
  • Pounding or racing heart
  • Trembling
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Chest pain

How Panic Disorder Is Diagnosed

Only healthcare professionals have the certification and training to make an official diagnosis of panic disorder. They'll perform a comprehensive physical assessment, analyze blood samples, and delve into your psychological state to understand your symptoms, anxieties, sources of stress, interpersonal interactions, and family history. 

People who have been diagnosed with a panic disorder will experience frequent and unanticipated panic attacks and have a fear of another attack, with this fear lasting for at least a month. Doctors will also rule out the symptoms being linked to substances, medical conditions, or other mental health disorders before diagnosing.

Knowing the Signs and Symptoms of Panic Disorder

Indications that someone might have a panic disorder may include:

  • Experiencing feelings of being out of control or impending doom
  • Experiencing sudden and repeated panic attacks that accompany overwhelming anxiety
  • Avoiding places where panic attacks have occurred before
  • Experiencing a fear about when the next panic attack will occur
  • Experiencing physical symptoms during a panic attack. These symptoms may include a racing heart, chills, or chest pain. 

Anti-Anxiety Medications

One of the most common methods of treating panic disorders at SUN Behavioral Health Delaware is through the use of anti-anxiety medications. Mental health professionals prescribe these medications, which may include serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), beta-blockers, and benzodiazepines. 

SSRIs and SNRIs may take several weeks before they start working, but they can help improve symptoms associated with panic disorder. Benzodiazepines are often known as anti-anxiety sedative medications. These medications can quickly decrease symptoms of a panic attack. Because of the potential for withdrawal that comes with benzodiazepines, healthcare providers may only prescribe them for short periods if they are necessary. Beta-blockers, while not always prescribed by doctors, can help with the physical symptoms of panic disorders, such as rapid heart rate, tremors, and sweating. 

It is important to remember that the first medication tried may not be the best choice for you, and it may take some time before the proper medication or combination of medications is determined. If you have taken any medications for a panic disorder in the past that have not worked, it is essential to bring them up during your assessment, as they will be taken into consideration when creating your treatment plan.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT is a common way to treat panic disorder. This therapy teaches you skills that can help you identify and change thoughts, behaviors, and reactions that happen before or during a panic attack. Over time, people who undergo this type of therapy will experience less frequent panic attacks. 

During CBT for a panic disorder, you may focus on confronting fears and beliefs, which will allow you to once again engage in activities that you may have avoided because of your panic disorder. Your counselor will teach you relaxation exercises alongside these confrontations. 

Panic-Focused Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

Panic-focused psychodynamic psychotherapy is a type of treatment designed specifically to treat panic disorder. This approach to treatment includes topics such as anger recognition, ambivalent feelings about autonomy, and fears of loss or abandonment. Techniques taught in this therapy include clarification, confrontation, and interpretation. 

With this type of therapy, as you become engaged in the treatment, your counselor or therapist will be able to identify links between your emotions and circumstances surrounding your panic disorder. 

Combination of Medication and Psychotherapy

Most people need both medication and psychotherapy to recover from a panic disorder. Know that both of these treatments take time before they start to work, and there is no quick “fix” when it comes to treating a panic disorder. 

However, that doesn’t mean they won’t eventually work after putting time and effort into your treatment. When you receive a combination of medication and psychotherapy, you will have the benefits of both tools. 

Many people who are on medication for a panic disorder do not take the medication forever. Medication is a tool that can make the symptoms manageable as you apply the skills you learn in psychotherapy to your life. 

Discover Help for Panic Disorder Today at SUN Behavioral Health Delaware

Going through treatment to help manage your panic disorder can give you back a sense of security that you may have felt like you’ve lost. You don’t have to try starting your healing journey on your own. It is okay to ask for help. By seeking treatment, you will meet people who are experiencing the same things you are. You will rediscover the inner strength you have as you learn how to live your life beyond your panic disorder. 

FAQs About Panic Disorder Treatment

What is the best treatment for panic disorder?

The best treatment for a panic disorder can vary from person to person. A medical professional will work with you based on your past treatment experiences and assessments to determine the best treatment for you when it comes to your panic disorder.

Can panic disorder go away?

With proper treatment, panic disorder can decrease with time. Without medical treatment, panic disorders may interfere with daily life.

Can you live with panic disorder without medication?
Yes. Many people can live with panic disorder without medication. Participating in psychotherapy and applying life changes can significantly increase people’s quality of life.

Treatment for Panic Disorder in Georgetown

SUN Behavioral Health Delaware solves unmet needs in Georgetown, DE. Our crisis care includes 24/7 admission, allowing people to begin treatment while in crisis, no matter when it arises. If you have any questions, feel free to call us at 302-604-5600.


SUN Behavioral Delaware

21655 Biden Ave
Georgetown, DE, 19947

Hours of Operation:

Open 24 hours

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