A Remedy for Panic Attacks - When Discouraged
Is a remedy for panic attacks available? Panic attacks may vary in severity, frequency and length,
but they generally feel about as much fun as a heart attack. And sometimes they just won't go
A magic pill to make them go away would be welcome.
Of course there are times when one does get the right drug or uses the right cure very soon after
the attacks begin. On the far side are those who seem to have tried just about everything, but with
little results. A string of drugs proves more trouble than the bunch are worth. Other angles of
attacking the attacks all amount to something of a disappointment.
And the panic attacks keep coming. Or they come back after going away for a time. One
naturally becomes discouraged or even depressed. But the panic forces one to keep trying or to
take drastic measures, like confining oneself to a home.
Probably one has not tried enough things or worked long and hard enough at what one has tried
in order to make a significant difference. Or a little success has come, just not enough. One
hovers in the vulnerable range.
The only remedy is to keep trying until reaching a break through. Guidance or professional
advice may be invaluable, moderately valuable, or the professional may be stumped. Or the
professional may be unable to change in the patient what s/he thinks necessary for success.
In such entrenched cases (not all are so difficult), probably either the cause is unusual or the
causes are confusing or difficult to get rid of. For one person, nothing really helped until
magnesium supplements were tried--a rare circumstance at least in its extreme. Others face some
combination of a troubled past, allergens, chronic stresses, drug abuse, a chain of suboptimal
attitudes and responses, and a sensitive personality. Or whatever.
Seldom are emotions simple. Targeting the cause(s) is often helpful, but finding causes may be
difficult (or easy, as the case may be). Treating symptoms may be easy, but if they leave the
causes in place, often the attacks can only be restrained rather than cured.
The best approach to such difficult cases logically is fourfold: (1) keeping a journal, (2) research,
(3) trial and error, and (4) measuring progress.
1) A goal of journaling or diary keeping is to track anxiety levels while hopefully matching
anxiety to environments, foods, drinks, social circumstances, sleep patterns, and anything else
that might exacerbate or ameliorate anxiety. What helps and what hinders? Is one getting better
or getting worse over time? Are there cycles? Under what circumstances does one get better or
worse? Is there a pattern?
Granted, in some cases a trauma obviously started it all, and one cannot undo the past. But one
can develop skills to cope with or overcome the past, and there may be hidden antecedents that
contributed to one's reaction to the trauma.
2) Find out what has helped others with similar panic attack problems. Jot down a list of possible
treatments, research each as you are able, consult with your doctor (especially if the treatment is
prescribed or might have an effect on the prescribed treatment). Put in order of priority in your
Other than drugs, what of herbs like Lemon Balm, amino acids like GABA and tryptophan,
controlled nasal and abdominal breathing, physical exercise, positive affirmations, emotion
freeing technique, relaxation techniques, exposure therapy (facing fears), forgiving others, and
arranging lifestyle for less stress?
3) Starting with what you think is the most promising remedy or set of approaches, go through
your list. Keep trying. In conjunction with a journal, record the results, possibly on a scale of
anxiety like HAMA. If something proves not to be effective or is counterproductive, move on to
the next in the list. Add to the list as you find new possibilities.
4) If any remedy or set of circumstances seems helpful or promising, take special note.
Remember your successes. Write them down, and if possible, repeat them, even if they are small
successes. Let your psyche feel progress. Reinforce what works.