Alright, we can see you stifling that yawn, and we know what you’re thinking: “What on earth is there to say about treating panic disorder other than to use SSRIs or benzos?” Well, we’re up for the challenge!
Nobody doubts that benzodiazepines (“benzos” or BZs) are effective in treating a wide range of anxiety disorders, but many believe that they are addictive, difficult and perhaps dangerous to stop taking, and that they cover up anxiety instead of truly treating it. Let’s take a closer look at each of the concerns.
In the dark old days of American Psychiatry, most patients were diagnosed with schizophrenia and prescribed Thorazine (chlorpromazine) or its equivalent. One of the true pioneers of rational medication treatment is Donald Klein of Columbia University, who in 1962 was a psychiatrist practicing at Hillside Hospital in New York.
Dr. Aiken is the Editor in Chief of The Carlat Psychiatry Report; director of the Mood Treatment Center in North Carolina, where he maintains a private practice combining medication and therapy along with evidence-based complementary and alternative treatments; and Assistant Professor NYU Langone Department of Psychiatry. He has worked as a research assistant at the NIMH and a sub-investigator on clinical trials, and conducts research on a shoestring budget out of his private practice. Follow him on Twitter and find him on LinkedIn.