- Paperback: 232 pages
- Publisher: AuthorHouse (October 29, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1410787346
- ISBN-13: 978-1410787347
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 18 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,916,143 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Surviving Panic Disorder: What You Need to Know Paperback – October 29, 2003
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About the Author
Stuart Shipko, M.D. is a board certified psychiatrist inprivate practice in Pasadena, CA. Hehas treated over 2000 patients with panic disorder. Dr. Shipko has published original research relating panicdisorder to reflux related heartburn and sinusitis. Founder of the Panic Disorder Institute website, Dr. Shipko has been a strong advocate for people who suffer from panic disorder.
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Shipko states (and I am of the same opinion) that the "benzos" have been given a bad name in the medical community to promote the SSRI antidepressants, some of which are much more expensive and not available generically. The problem is that the panic sufferer doesn't need something to make him/her more anxious, and most SSRI's do just that. Rather like going to the doctor with severe pain and being given something that causes more pain. To the extent that Dr. Shipko has convinced even a few docs of the therapeutic value of the benzodiazepine family (Xanax, Ativan, Klonopin) and the intense suffering of panic disorder, he has done the community a great service.
The reason for three stars is that the book offers little else, other than several interesting, if not proven opinions. While a minor point, on p.113, there is a glaring error: "Of the three BDZs mentioned [Xanax, Ativan, Klonopin; my insert] Ativan is the only one ever approved by the FDA for the treatment of panic disorder." That's 100% wrong-the only FDA-approved benzodiazepine for panic disorder is Xanax (feel free to look it up on your favorite search engine). While it is easy to understand the "mistake", it is so crucial to his argument that I have questions as to how carefully the manuscript was read.
In summary, it is an interesting book that is a quick read and has some interesting ideas, but is not worth buying-borrowing from the library, yes, purchasing, no.
Update August 28, 2010
Having read Dr. Shipko's book two additional times, I've come to the conclusion that some of my criticisms were misplaced.There are invaluable "gems" hidden in the text that I missed upon first reading-but in my defense, Dr. Shipko often does not elaborate; example, p.141, "The Internet information on BDZ withdrawal is extreme and seems most appropriate for BZD-addicted people..."-this is HUGE point, deserving, to my way of thinking, a bit more explanation. Such an explanation might warn the reader not to be fearful of what one reads about Xanax withdrawal on the Internet, because the majority of the information is for Xanax-loving addicts, not benzo-hating panic disorder patients. Another important seldom-mentioned insight casually passed over is the psychological aspect of withdrawal-if you are very scared of withdrawing, you will generate physical symptoms that will not allow you to continue to taper...I found that point very helpful in a recent withdrawal; you have to be in a relative calm place to withdraw and attempting to withdraw while still quite ill is doomed to failure.
If one searches for the "gems"-and recognizes them when they are found, the book becomes an extremely valuable addition to the panic disorder literature, worthy of five stars.
The only reason it didn't get my 5th star is because the editing could've been better - there were numerous typos.