Hi. It’s Jenny at AnxietyBoss.com. Our question today is from LaVonne in Quitman, Texas. Panic attacks and anxiety has isolated me from everything I love in my life. I have tried treatments, but nothing works.
What kind of treatments have you tried? Panic attacks and general anxiety respond very well to proper treatment. There are highly effective medications on the market and evidence based psychotherapy techniques to help manage anxiety symptoms and reduce the frequency and severity of panic attacks.
A good therapist that you trust is an important part of this. Another thing to consider if treatment has not worked in the past are seemingly unimportant details which can impact anxiety. This is where a good therapist, a thorough evaluation, and clear communication is important.
A major contributor to anxiety is caffeine. Caffeine consumption, at least in the U.S., has gone up very high over the past 20 years. Caffeine is a psychoactive drug, a central nervous system stimulant, to be more specific. It can create or worsen anxiety symptoms when consumed in excess. Lack of exercise is also a contributing factor in anxiety as are skipped or irregular meals and saturation with electronic devices. Our modern lifestyle can really take a toll and produce a lot of stress, neglect of self-care, and we can eventually succumb to multiple pressures, a lack of support and rest, and develop an anxiety disorder.
Taking a close look at your lifestyle with the assistance of a therapist is important. Meds are effective, but should not be relied on exclusively. Meds will dial down your anxiety to a manageable level, but then you have to do your part, which will be the homework assigned by your therapist. For example, if one has a fear of elevators and had a panic attack when getting on one, meds will reduce anxiety symptoms. Homework could consist of riding an elevator successively higher for longer periods of time, one floor, three floors, five floors, and so on, while practicing relaxation exercises which a therapist can teach you.