Burlingame Family Health Medical Group Logo

Burlingame Family Health
Medical Group

1820 Ogden Drive, First Floor
Burlingame, CA 94010

(650) 697-7202

Medical Services Hours: 8am to 5pm, Monday through Friday. Our offices are closed Saturday & Sunday.
Please see the Psychological Services page for counseling appointment hours.


Panic Disorder can be a devastating psychological condition if it is not treated effectively.

The symptoms may include: accelerated heart rate, palpitations, or pounding heart, sweating, trembling or shaking, sensations of shortness of breath or smothering, feeling of choking, chest pain, nausea or abdominal distress, dizziness or lightheaded, feelings of unreality, fear of going crazy, fear of dying, numbness or tingling, chills or hot flashes. Frequently it is linked with Agoraphobia where the person fears being away from their home or comfort zone. Treatment is of significantly shorter duration when the patient gets appropriate treatment soon after the initial attack. If not treated effectively the disorder can progress so that the patient may become home bound unable to leave their “safe zone”. Family members may be enlisted to be with the patient so they will not be left alone. There are cases where the victim does not feel able to leave their bedroom and will be taken care of by a family member for the rest of their lives. When not treated effectively, patients may suicide.

There are very effective methods of treating this disorder that include cognitive-behavioral therapy and psycho-pharmaceuticals. Many psychiatrists and psychologists rely on methods that frequently are not effective. The prospective patient should only see professionals who have a substantial experience in successfully treating this disorder. Ineffective treatment methods may make the condition more difficult to treat. The victim of this disorder should seek out psychologists or psychiatrists, who have received training and are very experienced in both cognitive-behavioral methods and the appropriate psychotropic medications as an adjunct, as soon as possible. Waiting before effective treatment, can make the condition more resistant to treatment. Cognitive behavioral treatment for panic disorder can frequently be effective in one to three visits to a trained therapist for the victim who gets treatment after one or two attacks.

If treatment is undertaken soon after the initial attack, medications are usually not required or appropriate except as a “safety net”. Inappropriate use of some medications may result in severe cases of addiction.