Need help breaking free from addiction?
1-888-993-3112
Call 24/7 for treatment options. Ad Info & Options

Panic Attacks

Question:

I have been experiencing panic attacks lately. I had them several years ago and now they are back. They are worse when I go into a store but I worry that something will happen to me or my family constantly. I do not want to take medication for it. Is there something else that I can do? What is causing this to happen? How can I get myself out of this. I have not been sleeping well lately and I noticed that it mainly happens when I am alone. Sometimes it feels like I am going crazy and my family thinks that I should just “snap out of it”, but I can’t.

This Disclaimer applies to the Answer Below
  • Dr. Dombeck responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
  • Dr. Dombeck intends his responses to provide general educational information to the readership of this website; answers should not be understood to be specific advice intended for any particular individual(s).
  • Questions submitted to this column are not guaranteed to receive responses.
  • No correspondence takes place.
  • No ongoing relationship of any sort (including but not limited to any form of professional relationship) is implied or offered by Dr. Dombeck to people submitting questions.
  • Dr. Dombeck, Mental Help Net and CenterSite, LLC make no warranties, express or implied, about the information presented in this column. Dr. Dombeck and Mental Help Net disclaim any and all merchantability or warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or liability in connection with the use or misuse of this service.
  • Always consult with your psychotherapist, physician, or psychiatrist first before changing any aspect of your treatment regimen. Do not stop your medication or change the dose of your medication without first consulting with your physician.
Answer:

Your description is similar to a condition called Agorophobia, which is an anxiety disorder characterized by frequent panic attacks, and a fear of being out in unfamiliar places (for fear of having a panic attack there). Anxiety disorders like Agoraphobia are quite treatable without medicine – using a form of psychotherapy called ‘Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy’. CBT for anxiety and panic is well studied and is known to work very well – often as well as or better than any medical therapies. CBT is available from a therapist (usually a psychologist) trained in CBT methods. It will take approximately 12-18 weekly one hour sessions to administer properly, and will involve your doing a lot of homework. CBT for panic attacks and agoraphobia has become highly standardized affair. One of the best manuals out there for engaging in this therapy is called Mastery of Your Anxiety and Panic – there is a workbook for you and a therapist manual that your doctor can follow if she is so inclined.

<

p> Before you go off to the psychologist’s office you ought to get yourself checked out physically by a medical doctor. Sometimes the origin of panic attacks can be found in subtle physical problems (minor heart conditions and such). It is worth knowing if you might have anything like this going on so that you can received proper treatment.

More "Ask Dr. Dombeck" View Columnists

Comments
  • Anonymous-1

    I found this site, a useful support to

    Deal with Panic Attack

    http://www.panicsupport4u.com/coping.htm

Close

Call the Helpline Toll-FREE

To Get Treatment Options Now.

1-888-993-3112 100% Confidential

Get Help For You or a Loved One Here...

Click Here for More Info.

Close

Call The Toll-FREE Helpline 24/7 To Get Treatment Options Now.

100% Confidential
Get Treatment Options From Your Phone... Tap to Expand