Managing panic disorder and generalised anxiety disorder

EDWARD WIMS, ALISON MAHONEY, GAVIN ANDREWS

Abstract

Patients with panic disorder or generalised anxiety disorder require an accurate diagnosis and thorough education regarding the nature of the condition. A stepwise approach to the management and treatment of these disorders is recommended.

Key Points

  • Panic disorder and generalised anxiety disorder are common and debilitating conditions.
  • Patients with anxiety disorders require an accurate diagnosis and thorough education regarding the nature of their disorder.
  • A stepwise approach to the management and treatment of panic disorder and generalised anxiety disorder is ideal.
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), including group CBT, individual CBT or clinician-assisted computerised CBT, is the treatment of choice for patients with these anxiety disorders.
  • Pharmacotherapy in the form of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or tricyclic antidepressants can also have a useful role in these patients.
  • Both panic disorder and generalised anxiety disorder are treatable, and with appropriate care affected patients can return to baseline functioning.