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    Panic Attacks: Their Cause and Cure

    Panic Attacks: Their Cause and Cure
    by Dr Michael R. Edelstein, Psychology Today
    November 4, 2011

    Panic attacks are deeply rooted in our thinking.

    Do you recognize these symptoms: a pounding heart, legs feeling weak and trembling, a tight throat, light-headedness, and fears of a heart attack or going crazy? While simultaneously you hate yourself for foolishly worrying about these feelings which your physician assured you were "nothing?" This is the hallmark of panic attacks.

    Must you remain at the mercy of such episodes striking "out of the blue?" Absolutely not. Countless victims--both men and women--have been helped.

    If you have never experienced a panic attack, it usually begins with an unexpected physical discomfort, such as chest pressure or pains, rapid heartbeat, dizziness, weakness, shakiness, a case of the jitters, or feeling vaguely unsettled or "weird."

    Mysteriously, this often occurs for no medically detectable reason. Being human with imperfectly functioning physiologies, we are all vulnerable to ephemeral physical symptoms.

    But the anxiety-prone person, rather than ignoring those discomforts, dwells on them, magnifying and prolonging them by thinking: "I must know precisely why I'm feeling like this; I absolutely must be certain it's not serious; I must never lose control or act crazily; I absolutely must not do something stupid or look foolish; I must have a guarantee I'm not going to die; I must not make myself panic."

    Fired with such unrealistic notions, the anxiety-prone individual creates out of thin air feelings of fright, panic, hysteria, and finally depression, while rigidly avoiding uncomfortable situations and increasingly circumscribing his or her life.

    Is there a solution to this syndrome, which has reached epidemic proportions?

    Thankfully there is and it's called Three Minute Therapy (TMT). TMT, a modern comprehensive cognitive-behavioral approach based on Albert Ellis's Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), is described in the popular book, Three Minute Therapy.

    TMT helps sufferers successfully complete the two-stage process for long-term relief by targeting the panic-creating "MUSTs."
    Step one consists of the sufferer recognizing that the "MUSTs"--but not the preferences--are totally false; that although it would be highly preferable to avoid discomfort, it's never a must. You don't always have to feel entirely comfortable and you usually won't.

    Although it would prove lovely never to unduly upset yourself, being human and imperfect you assuredly will some of the time. And, in the unlikely worst case scenario, even if you do lose control, go crazy or even die, that's profoundly sad, but if it happens, it happens--and worrying is surely no cure.

    Step two consists of thoroughly convincing yourself of the truth of those insights. You accomplish that by persuasively, vigorously, persistently confronting and contradicting those unrealistic musts until you give them up.

    Also by practicing pushing yourself to do the things you are terribly afraid of doing and by reaffirming with these actions that great discomfort is never horrible, but rather tends to diminish as you consistently face, rather than avoid, it.

    Three Minute Therapy can help you significantly if you are the victim of panic attacks. There is no need to suffer in silence.

    More information: CBT San Francisco Bay Area Depression Anxiety Cognitive Behavioral Psychologist

  2. #2

    Re: Panic Attacks: Their Cause and Cure

    That book, Three Minute Therapy, is also available online for free:

    Chapter 9 is on panic attacks:
    "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

  3. #3

    Re: Panic Attacks: Their Cause and Cure

    Excellent, excellent advice. I live and breath by this principal each and every day.

    When I learned this technique and discovered it worked, I was amazed. For so long I had been taught that medication was the only thing that will help. The self-talk works a lot better, at least it did for me.

  4. Re: Panic Attacks: Their Cause and Cure

    This is one of the things I am doing...I start with something least stressing and train myself to think rational. Progress is slow, some situations are much more distressing. I have no memory of it not being that way...I need a a way to tone it down so I can deal with it and fix it then get rid of the crutch because I'll know if I did ok with someone, I can go it alone. I have nobody to go with me (no exaggeration), I can't take my dog...what does that leave me with? Nothing...if I can't go out, I can't make new then I have no close friend to go with me...its a circle. I feel very frustrated aside from loneliness.
    In the division of the source of everything (God), an endless unfathomable possibility of creation is taking place. The polarity of contrast defines all that is.



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