Non-specific treatments (as for
Program of daily activities, exercise and nutrition program (avoid caffeine) and
If symptoms present during withdrawal, provide symptomatic relief and reassure that they
will almost certainly pass after a few days (symptoms from benzodiazepine withdrawal may
last for several weeks).
Explain normal symptoms of "fright, flight and fight" and teach monitoring.
Involve family in treatment, particularly if chronic and resistant to therapy.
Reduce cannabis induced panic attacks by explaining that symptoms of dry mouth and
palpitations may be induced by some of the adrenaline like actions of the drug and will
Specialist interventions required for most of these disorders, particularly PTSD
(the most common of the anxiety disorders which is often under-treated).
Use of desensitisation techniques to deal with anxiety-producing stimuli
Identification and challenging unhelpful automatic thoughts
Relaxation techniques (eg progressive muscle relaxation, controlled breathing and
While benzodiazepines are often prescribed, they should be avoided where possible in those
with concurrent substance use problems because of their addiction potential. Other
drugs such as buspirone
Antidepressants are sometimes used in panic disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder
Slow breathing down to 14 breaths a minute (one every 4 seconds). Re-breath into a
paper bag to restore normal carbon dioxide concentrations and stop abnormal sensations in
arms and feelings of being light-headed.