Having visited many forums and blogs dedicated to general anxiety disorders; I am still quite surprised to find that so many people can’t seem to know how to stop their panic attacks for good. What surprises me most is how much effort they seem to be putting in it and how little result they get in return. This is quite unfair of course but not unchangeable.
As you may already have noticed by now, anxiety-related disorders are not that simple to eradicate especially if right from the beginning you have been given some bad advice or don’t have a sound understanding of the mechanisms of anxiety. I am not blaming you at all for this because I have been in the same situation before and I know how it feels to make efforts without reaping the rewards.
Before carrying on I want to ask you a simple question: What is progress to you?
Have you ever thought about this particular question in relation to your health?
Progress is very variable and many people have different expectations regarding their own.
Let’s illustrate this with a quick example here.
Let’s assume that you used to have 3 panic attacks a week and now only experience one, can you live with it? We can’t deny that there has been some progress here but is it enough? Is it something you can live with for the rest of your life? If you are prepared to accept it as it is, that’s fine and you can tell yourself that you have indeed reached the level of progress that you were looking for.
This said, I doubt that when someone looks for a panic attack cure, they only expect to see an improvement of 60% in their condition. I’d rather think that GAD sufferers are looking to free themselves from the symptoms and the nasty effects this condition inflicts on them as well as on their personal and professional lives.
Ok, so what about stopping panic attacks for good? How would you feel if you could kick them out and never experience any symptoms again?
Oh I know that some sceptical people probably think that anxiety is something you were born with and therefore little can be done to fight it off completely. I agree that some may inherit anxiety from their parents but this is a condition and not a disease. It isn’t what we call a degenerative disease and therefore something can be done to prevent any form of GAD from taking your life over. Don’t forget that untreated panic attacks can lead to more serious pathologies that become a lot harder to treat.
Ok, let’s assume that you want to free yourself from this condition for good. How do you do that?
First of all, I think that it is important to point out that too many people get lost by trying different methods. Focusing on one chosen method or programme is likely to give you the best results than trying one cure after the other. It is all about determination, resilience and hope.
There is of course another factor that you need to take into consideration and it is the severity of your anxiety. For instance, if you suffer from severe panic attacks, I doubt that simple relaxation and breathing techniques will help and would be inclined to think that cognitive behavioural therapy will be more appropriate. Other such therapies are also available and some are currently in development since treating panic attacks is now being taken much more seriously by the medical profession than a few years ago.
I good first step is to make a list and evaluate your current level of anxiety and whether you think you have made some progress since you started looking into curing your panic attacks. If you feel that this may be too complicated for you, then of course you can always see a doctor for a proper evaluation and some further advice.
I also think that if after a while you realise that the method you have chosen doesn’t work, then you must not hesitate to switch and find something that suits you better. After all, what do you have to lose?
Earlier in this article, I mentioned the word HOPE! Hope is a great motivator but hope without concrete and repetitive action remains useless and will not get you anywhere. This is why being proactive is a very important part in your quest for an anxiety free life.
Giving up is not an option and with all the new techniques and well-designed programmes available these days, you can’t afford to stop looking for the right solution just yet. Learning to stop panic attacks takes time and dedication, but what doesn’t? Always keep in mind a map of your progress and bear in mind that setbacks do happen at times and that it is ok to have some. Being resilient, pro active and positive is the ultimate key to succeeding and winning the battle for good.