Recipe for Treating Panic Disorder, According to Me:
1. If it’s taking you to the emergency room feeling like you’re going to die, or your spouse can’t peel you off with your phone calls and new needs – you have a medical illness. Get medication.
2. If you are afraid of being humiliated by an episode so much that you avoid public places, or if you are more fearful than not – you have a medical illness. Get medical treatment.
3. If you are panicking out of the blue, without something setting you off/triggers like finding your husband in bed with your dentist – this is biological. Get a medical physician’s opinion.
4. If you are awakening from sleep in a panic attack, when you feel like you have to get out of bed and escape and the episode lasts for about 10+ minutes before you recover yourself – this is not because you’re not trying hard enough. Get on a serotonerigic therapy and a sleep aid(s).
5. If you are drinking more alcohol to relax and out of fear of going to bed – get suspicious and get smart. Medication therapy or alcohol? It stumps me when someone says they don’t feel comfortable with taking medication that has beed studied in double-blind studies on thousands of people and reviewed and analyzed and more… but they do feel comfortable with alcohol. That’s not friendly with yourself.
6. If you think you are going crazy and realize your fears and suspicions don’t make sense; if you think you are possibly going psychotic over and over – you’re having a medical illness of the brain and body called panic disorder. Get to your nearest treating physician and trust them.
7. If this is you, don’t go get insight or supportive psychotherapy at least until you have been on medication therapy for 6-8 weeks. What you are going through is not because your mom yells at you too much. It doesn’t have to have a reason. It is medical. Treat it medically. If you go to therapy too soon, you will see that you can’t give what you don’t have. (I may have offended some people saying this. Sorry.)
8. If you don’t get treatment, expect that depression may likely follow soon. Anxiety and depression are bedfellows and can’t be apart for long.
Self-Care Tip #92 – View Panic as a medical illness. It is. Be a friend to yourself.
Question: Have you or someone you known used a similar recipe or a different one? Please tell me your story.