Overcome panic disorder from the comfort of home.

Feel better in 12 weeks with a personalized treatment plan including medication, therapy, or both.
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  • Appointments within 48 hours
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What is panic disorder?

A panic attack is a strong physical reaction accompanied by feelings of fear that suddenly come on and can last for several minutes. When you have a panic attack, you may sweat profusely, feel short of breath, and experience chest pains that may feel like you’re having a heart attack. These are all reasons why panic attacks can be very frightening and uncomfortable.

People who experience repeated panic attacks often become anxious and preoccupied with having another attack and may make changes to their lifestyle to avoid having panic attacks. If you have experienced four or more panic attacks or live in fear of having another attack, you may have a panic disorder.

Dr Mimi Winsberg headshot
Mimi Winsberg, MD

Chief Medical Officer
Stanford-trained Psychiatrist with 25 years of practice

The signs & symptoms of panic disorder.

A panic attack is the abrupt onset of intense fear or discomfort that reaches a peak within minutes and includes at least four of the following symptoms:

Key symptoms of panic disorder include:

  • Palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Sensations of shortness of breath or smothering
  • Feelings of choking
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Nausea or abdominal distress
  • Feeling dizzy, unsteady, light-headed, or faint
  • Chills or heat sensations
  • Paresthesia (numbness or tingling sensations)
  • Derealization (feelings of unreality) or depersonalization (being detached from oneself)
  • Fear of losing control or “going crazy”
  • Fear of dying

Someone may be diagnosed with panic disorder if they experience sudden and repeated panic attacks, a feeling of being out of control, of death, or impending doom during a panic attack. They may also be diagnosed with panic disorder if they experience intense worry about when or where the next panic attack will happen and fear or avoid places where panic attacks have occurred in the past for 30 days or more.

Panic disorder is a common and treatable condition, don’t wait to get the care you need.

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85%of Brightside members feel
better within 12 weeks
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How we treat panic disorder.

Once a diagnosis has been established, panic disorder is generally treated with therapy, medication, or both. Talk with your provider about the best treatment option for you.

Medication

Antidepressants are shown to be effective in treating the symptoms of panic disorder. At Brightside, we use your data and research to find the right medication for you.

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Therapy

We use evidence-based approaches to therapy such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) that are proven to be the most effective in treating panic disorder.

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Self-Care

A comprehensive approach to care leads to better outcomes. By practicing daily healthy habits and self-care, you can reduce your symptoms of panic disorder.

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Commonly prescribed medications.

At Brightside we prescribe over 30 different antidepressant medications. We’ll work with you to find the right medication for your individual needs and symptoms.

Affordable plans to help you feel better.

Starting as low as
$45 / for your first month.


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Whether you choose medication, therapy, or both, our memberships include expert online care designed to help you feel better, faster.

  • Comprehensive video evaluation
  • Personalized treatment plan
  • Unlimited messaging
  • Unlimited video follow-ups with your provider
  • 4 video sessions with your therapist each month
  • Free medication delivery
  • Interactive Therapy lessons
  • Regular progress tracking

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We accept health insurance.

We're on a mission to make anxiety & depression care more affordable for all.
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Getting started is simple.

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Step 1

Fill out a quick questionnaire.

Start by answering a clinically-proven set of questions, which will help us understand your symptoms and recommend a treatment plan with Medication, Therapy, or both.

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Step 2

Meet your provider & start treatment.

Within 48 hours, you’ll have a video consultation where you can share how you’re feeling and decide on next steps together. If prescribed, your medication will be delivered to your door monthly.

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Step 3

Make progress and feel better.

Unlimited messaging, video sessions, and regular check-ins help you stay in touch with your provider so they can monitor your symptoms and adjust until treatment is right for you.

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You’re in good hands. Our licensed providers are experts in treating panic disorder.

  • Always see an expert psychiatric provider
  • All therapists hold a master’s degree or higher
  • Licensed in your state and background comprehensively checked
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Laura Purdy, MD

Psychiatrist
Doctor Michael Chen headshot

Michael Chen, MD

Psychiatrist
Doctor Frederica Boso LMHC headshot

Frederica Boso, LMHC

Licensed mental health counselor

Life-changing results from real members.

Read More Reviews
Melissa K.

“A literal life saver. So convenient, so effective, and more involved/high touch than my former psychiatrist was. I should have done this a year sooner.”

Kayla S.

“Brightside has made such a huge improvement on my quality of life. The ease of access, the convenience of the med delivery, and the intelligent check in scoring system all contribute to a next level quality of care.”

Anonymous

“My provider has answered every question I’ve had, listened to worries and concerns and symptoms, assured me and is truly invested in my quality of care. I’ve gone from moderate-severe depression to mild depression in just 2 months.”

Rachael B

“I am so very grateful to have found Brightside. This is the most hopeful I have felt in maybe two years. Brightside isn't just working for me, it saved me. Brightside really turned may life around.”

Tyler K

“My life is so much better after starting with Brightside. My doctor truly cares about my well being and I’m just so grateful for this.”

Life-changing results from real members.

Melissa K.

“A literal life saver. So convenient, so effective, and more involved/high touch than my former psychiatrist was. I should have done this a year sooner.”

Kayla S.

“Brightside has made such a huge improvement on my quality of life. The ease of access, the convenience of the med delivery, and the intelligent check in scoring system all contribute to a next level quality of care.”

Anonymous

“My provider has answered every question I’ve had, listened to worries and concerns and symptoms, assured me and is truly invested in my quality of care. I’ve gone from moderate-severe depression to mild depression in just 2 months.”

Rachael B

“I am so very grateful to have found Brightside. This is the most hopeful I have felt in maybe two years. Brightside isn't just working for me, it saved me. Brightside really turned may life around.”

Tyler K

“My life is so much better after starting with Brightside. My doctor truly cares about my well being and I’m just so grateful for this.”

Read More Reviews

What you need to know.

What causes a panic disorder?

Although research has not wholly determined why some people develop panic disorder, researchers believe that the illness may be caused or triggered by one or a combination of genetic or hereditary factors, a more sensitive “fight-or-flight” response, a disturbance in neural pathways in the brain, a stressful life event, or childhood stress and trauma.

When to seek help for a panic disorder.

Visit a doctor if you’ve been experiencing symptoms of panic disorder. At first, it may be difficult to discuss your feelings, but remember that your doctor is there to help you. Speaking openly about your condition is the first step toward healthily managing your symptoms.

How is a panic disorder diagnosed?

The first thing to do is to talk to your doctor about your symptoms. Your doctor will do an exam and ask you about your health history to ensure that an unrelated physical problem is not causing your symptoms. Your doctor may then refer you to a mental health specialist, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist.

You may be diagnosed with panic disorder if you have regular and unexpected panic attacks followed by at least a month of continuous worry or concern about having further attacks.

If you have panic attacks but have not been diagnosed with a panic disorder, you can still benefit from treatment. If panic attacks aren’t treated, they can get worse and develop into panic disorder or phobias.

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What are the treatment options for panic disorder?

Once a diagnosis has been established, a panic disorder is generally treated with therapy, medication, or both. Talk with your provider about the best treatment option for you.

Therapy: A type of treatment called cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is especially useful as a treatment for panic disorder. CBT teaches you different ways of thinking, behaving, and reacting to the feelings that come on with a panic attack. CBT can help you become aware of inaccurate or negative thought patterns to view challenging situations more clearly and respond to them more effectively. The attacks can begin to disappear once you learn to respond differently to the physical sensations of anxiety and fear during panic attacks.

Medication: Doctors also may prescribe different types of medications to help treat panic disorder, depending on your needs. These medications can include:

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
  • Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)

SSRIs and SNRIs are both antidepressants commonly used to treat depression, but they are also helpful for panic disorder symptoms. The results of these medications are not immediate—they may take several weeks to start working. These medications may also cause side-effects, such as headaches, nausea, or difficulty sleeping. These side effects are usually not severe for most people, especially if the dose starts low and increases slowly. Most of the time, the benefits of the medication outweigh the potential side effects but talk to your doctor about any that you may be experiencing. Check out our Myths and Misconceptions about Antidepressants post for more information about antidepressants.

You should work closely with your doctor to find the best medication and dose for you. Both therapy and medication can take some time to work, so don’t give up on treatment too quickly. Following a healthy lifestyle can also help combat panic disorder. Make sure to get enough sleep and exercise, eat a healthy and balanced diet, and turn to loved ones who you trust for support.

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The Brightside difference.

We designed Brightside to deliver the best psychiatric care available.

Unlimited
access

Receive ongoing online care from hand-selected providers who are experts in treating anxiety & depression.

Precision-
prescribing

Data-driven prescribing that analyzes over 100 unique data points and decades of clinical research to pinpoint your match.

Science-backed
approaches

Build the skills needed to overcome anxiety and depression with an evidence-based approach to therapy that is proven to work.

Measured care for
better outcomes

Track your progress at every step, so you and your provider can make informed decisions and adjust your care until it’s right for you.

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