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Maintaining Your Success

What To Do When Panic Disorder Treatment Ends


Updated April 30, 2012

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Photo Copyright Microsoft

Maintaining your success after treatment takes work.

Photo © Microsoft

Numerous treatment options are available to help you safely and effectively gain control over your symptoms of panic and anxiety. Like many others with panic disorder, you may have gone through treatment and developed effective ways to successfully manage your symptoms. However, even if you have completed therapy, no longer need medication, or are just feeling better, you still need to cope with your condition. In fact, many of your symptoms will once again become unmanageable if you do not maintain the skills you learned through treatment.

The following offers some tips on how to maintain your success and continue to manage panic disorder, panic attacks, and agoraphobia after you have completed treatment:

Self-Help Books for Panic and Anxiety

Once treatment has ended, you will need to keep up with the skills you have learned in order to continue to cope with your symptoms. A great way to maintain the techniques you learned and build upon your success is to occasionally read and review self-help books.

Self-help books provide step-by-step instructions, exercises, and other resources to assist you in dealing with your condition. There are numerous self-help books available that specifically focus on building skills to manage panic and anxiety. These books can offer guidance and inspiration in gaining and maintaining control over your panic symptoms.

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Practice Relaxation Techniques

If you have gone through therapy, you may have learned some valuable coping skills. Relaxation techniques are a type of coping activity that can help reduce feelings of overall stress and anxiety. These techniques work to assist in easing tension felt throughout the body and aid in decreasing nervous thoughts.

Even if you are currently feeling less anxious, regularly practicing relaxation techniques can help you remain clearer and calmer. Plus, you will be more prepared if your symptoms do return. Practice relaxation techniques on a daily basis as a stress management tool for common life stressors and as a coping mechanism for panic attacks.

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Review Your Goals

Do you have any personal or professional goals that you are working toward? Typical goals revolve around career, relationships, and health. Along these same lines, you may have also participated in some goal-setting during treatment. For instance, if you have gone through therapy, you and your therapist most likely created a treatment plan that outlined your goals in managing panic disorder.

Since you have completed treatment or are experiencing some gains, now is a good time to review your goals. If you have not made any goals, take some time to decide what you hope to accomplish. For example, maybe you are better able to cope with your panic attacks, but there are still some places or situations that you are afraid to face. You can make it a goal to work toward getting past these limitations, possibly by learning desensitization or another self-help technique.

Goals can also involve your issues with panic disorder with agoraphobia. For instance, perhaps agoraphobia has prevented you from fully participating in life. Now that you are feeling better after treatment, you may want to make it a goal to pursue some of your interests or become more socially active. Regardless of where you are on your journey toward recovery, continue to review and create your goals in coping with your condition.

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Continue To Find Sources of Support

Building your support network can help you on your journey toward recovery. Now that you are no longer in treatment, you may feel that you are not as supported as you once were. However, there may be people in your life right now who can help you with maintaining your success. Your support group can be made up of trusted friends or family members whom you feel comfortable talking to about your condition.

While you continue to build on your support, remember that you are not alone. There are many others who also struggle with the symptoms of panic attacks, agoraphobia, and anxiety. Like-minded individuals can be found through online support groups that are specifically geared toward such issues. These online groups give people with panic disorder the opportunity to share and discuss their personal experiences, setbacks, and successes.

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Living with panic disorder involves managing your symptoms, following through with treatment recommendations, and periodically reviewing your goals. If at any time after treatment has ended you are finding it too difficult to cope with your symptoms, you can always return to treatment for a while to get yourself back on track. Keeping up with your success once treatment has ended can be challenging at times. However, through patience and persistence, you can stay on the path of recovery from panic disorder.

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