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I have been diagnosed with severe panic disorder. In the last two years I have tried almost every drug made with no luck. It is very difficult for me to go out in public but there are some days that it is not so bad. My question is: Is there a none drug possibility I could suggest to my doctor? When I use meds I seem to have lots of side effects including high blood pressure.

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  • Dr. Dombeck responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
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  • 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.

As mentioned before in this column, there is a very helpful form of psychotherapy for panic disorder called ‘mastery of anxiety and panic’. This therapy is a formalization of more general (but also highly effective) cognitive behavioral therapy for panic and anxiety. It involves no medications, and tends to produce very good results for panicking clients who go through it. Call around your community asking for this therapy (or cognitive behavioral therapy for panic) by name and see if you can find someone who offers it locally.

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  • Anonymous-1

    I have panic attacks when I am in crowded places. It happens a lot of the time. My boyfriend doesn't like going places with me and I feel bad. I try to handle the situation but all those people seem to close in on me and I can't breathe or swallow sometimes. My chest hurts and my feet get numb. I start getting loud due to the panic in my chest and sometimes I leave places without getting what I needed. I have tried all kinds of self-help remedies such as yoga, meditation and vitamin supplements. I don't currently have health insurance for at least another 2 months. Is there a free mental heath service I can use until my insurance comes into effect?


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