4 Alternative Therapies to Manage Panic Disorder

By Emily E. | Updated: Jun 18, 2020


As women age and their hormones begin to fluctuate, they are more prone to developing panic disorders. Fortunately, various treatment methods exist to help combat the problem and stop the symptoms without the need for risky medications or prescriptions. Read on to learn about the alternative therapies that effectively manage panic disorder and discover if any could work for you.

Talk Therapy


Scientifically known as cognitive-behavioral therapy, this method is widely viewed as highly effective for panic disorder management. It is based on teaching patients how to understand and control the negative thinking patterns that trigger panic attacks so that they can change and avoid them in the future. In the beginning, when complete avoidance of negative patterns may be impossible, these sessions manage panic disorder through practicing calming behaviors.

Exposure Therapy

Exposure therapy consists of simulating the physical sensations of a panic attack in a safe, controlled environment. This helps patients learn how to manage panic disorder in healthier ways. Agoraphobics, who are afraid of going outside, are sometimes exposed to outdoor situations in order to re-accustom themselves to leaving the house.


Scent therapy has also proven effective for some looking to manage panic disorder. Experts recommend that sufferers carry a handkerchief sprayed with a calming fragrance, such lavender, and inhale its scent deeply during panic attacks in order to reduce symptoms. Familiar-smelling scents that are reminders of good times can also help.


Studies have shown that, in addition to universally soothing aromas such as lavender or chamomile, regional smells also work well. For example, someone who grew up in the American Midwest may find the scent of farmland relaxing, whereas another from the South might find peace in the smell of fresh air. Interestingly, certain people also respond well to baby powder.

Dangerous Habit Avoidance


Though not strictly a type of therapy, positive lifestyle changes are frequently recommended in conjunction with those listed above. Alcohol, caffeine, and other harmful substances, should be avoided in order to prevent substance-induced attacks. It's also important for sufferers of this condition to get regular aerobic exercise and the proper amount of sleep each night.

Thanks to the several different options for treatment that are available, panic disorder management is possible. For more support and advice discuss your options with a healthcare professional.

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