Clear Panic Away

Natural Remedies for Anxiety and Panic Attacks

Author: Christian (Page 2 of 2)

Am I Having a Panic Attack?

panic attackThe technical definition of a panic attack is “a sudden feeling of terror that strikes without warning.” Panic attacks seem to affect more women than men. In fact, women are two times more likely to get them than men.

People who have anxiety and panic attacks are usually more likely to suffer from depression. They’re also more prone to abuse alcohol and drugs.

Panic attacks can occur anytime. Although they often occur during periods of extreme stress or worry, they have even been known to occur in your sleep. This is believable, however. Even though you go to sleep, your mind doesn’t. You may be stressing even in your sleep and just don’t know it!

At least 40 million adults in the United States (close to 20% of the population) will have at least one panic attack in their lives. Usually, the attack occurs between the ages of 15 and 19, with a many of the people that experience the first attack experiencing second attacks, and so on. If they recur too much, you should see your doctor about how to handle them.

So how do you know if you’re having a panic attack? In this article, we will discuss the symptoms, signs, and proper things to do when you think you might be having a panic attack.

What Causes Panic Attacks?

It is unclear on what exactly causes panic attacks, but many studies show that they have a tendency to run in families by either one or both parents. They are also likely to occur if there are drastic changes in your life, such as moving or losing a loved one.

Many people who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol have panic attacks. Some studies also show that many addicts having withdrawal symptoms from certain drugs are more likely to get panic attacks.

Some disorders can cause panic attacks too. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is the most frequent disorder that causes panic attacks, aside from General Anxiety Disorder. Another disorder that may cause panic attacks is schizophrenia.

The Difference Between Signs and Symptoms

Since we are going to cover both the signs and the symptoms of a panic attack, it is important to know the difference between the two.

Symptoms include everything that the patient sees or feels. Signs include everything your peers (including your doctor) sees. For example, symptoms of constipation include stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Signs of constipation are a tight stomach, inactive sphincter, etc.

Symptoms of a Panic Attack

Keep in mind that symptoms are what you see or feel. Some of the symptoms include:

  • a racing heartbeat
  • a feeling of weakness and dizziness
  • tingling or numbness in your hands, fingers, and toes
  • a sense of doom and dying
  • feeling hot and sweaty
  • chills, chest pain
  • difficulty in breathing or sense of choking
  • trembling or shaking vigorously
  • nausea or stomachache
  • the feeling of a loss of control of yourself

In children, symptoms include a sudden drop in grades, avoiding school, separation from parents, and sometimes even substance abuse, depression, and suicidal thoughts and attempts.

Symptoms in women often show more frequently than those in men.

Signs of a Panic Attack

Signs of a panic attack are generally hard for others to notice unless they see you in one, which can be hard since they only occur for ten minutes or less. You can’t “will” a panic attack on demand. However, a doctor may diagnose you with panic attacks if you tell her you have at least four of the above symptoms. (After all, it would be rare for your doctor to actually witness you having a panic attack.)

Some signs a psychologist may look for as you’re talking to them is excessive nervousness, excessive worrying that something big will happen over something small for long periods of time, trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, irrational fear, chronic indigestion, and even physical signs such as IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).

Most people have at least two panic attacks before they get diagnosed. They often worry or fret about changing their daily lives because of the diagnosis.

Treatment of Panic Attacks

The usual treatment for panic attacks from a doctor is anti-anxiety or antidepressant medications with the treatment of anxiety. However, this is a short-term “stop gap” solution. It only relieves the symptoms, but doesn’t treat the cause.

Psychotherapy is often undertaken to help a person understand the disorder and learn how to deal with it.

However, you can often try relaxation techniques at home such as deep breathing, positive thinking, or daydreaming. There is a comprehensive guide that can help you with this to “cure” your anxiety and panic attacks (by teaching you certain proven behavioral techniques.)

Also, caffeine can sometimes promote anxiety, so it’s usually best to reduce or stop your caffeine intake. Exercising and eating healthy, well-balanced meals daily will help to reduce the symptoms of panic attacks. Several herbal remedies are also used for relaxation and to relieve symptoms.

Remember, even if you suffer from this chronic disorder, you will not likely have to change your daily lifestyle. You’re part of the 2.4 million people who suffer from panic attacks, so you’re not alone. You can get through this. They are not life-threatening (as much as they feel like it!), and there are many ways to stop the suffering.

Symptoms of a Panic Attack

panic-buttonIf you’ve had a panic attack, you know it.” We’ve heard this bit of wisdom before. But it’s easy to mistake panic attack symptoms for something else – even, in some cases, a heart attack, stroke or “going crazy.”

Whether you suspect a panic attack or something more imminently harmful, do see your doctor the first time. There could be a physical cause. But if you’re curious about panic attack symptoms and wonder if you’re “normal,” here’s what many people experience:

Heart palpitations/quickened heartbeat/skipped heartbeats.

These are among the most commonly reported symptoms of a panic attack. The reason? Adrenaline. When you panic, adrenaline is pumped out at a fast rate. The adrenaline causes your heart to beat faster in order to allow you to run if the danger is real/imminent.

Please note this is NOT physically harmful to you if you do not have an underlying heart condition. It is your body’s normal response to a feeling of fear or danger. Believe it or not, your body thinks it’s trying to help, not hurt you.

Shallow, quick breathing.

This is another of your body’s safety mechanisms. The body can not tell the difference between real (i.e., a tiger standing in front of you) and imagined (fear of a panic attack) danger. It is trying to get you ready to flee the situation if need be. So it produces quicker spurts of oxygen into the body.

Dizziness.

This is another very common panic attack symptom. It may or may not be caused by shallow breathing (see above).

Shaking.

This is a combination of adrenaline and generalized fear.

A feeling of choking or of smothering.

The throat may feel tighter during a panic attack due to muscles tightening up. This may make you feel as if you’re choking even though you’re not. Simple rule of thumb: if you’re able to speak, there is air getting into and going out of your airway.

Sweating.

Your palms and forehead and face are usually the places you’ll feel sweat break out.

A feeling that you’re literally going crazy.

You may feel that you’re losing your mind and that you may suddenly do something “crazy” in response. Generally, this does not actually happen during a panic attack.

A feeling of impending doom.

The mechanism behind this is little understood, but a generalized feeling of doom is a frequently felt effect during panic attacks.

A feeling that you’re genuinely dying.

This is not surprising. You’re undergoing a series of physical symptoms that are frightening and seem to come out of nowhere. Many, many panic attack sufferers report a fear of dying during the panic attack. (See below for a few words about that.)

Nausea.

Nausea accompanies dizziness for many people. It can also be a symptom of fear in general.

A sense of unreality.

You may feel you’re “outside yourself,” watching what’s going on. Or you may feel that people are talking more loudly than usual and that colors are brighter, in a sort of fish-eye lens way. You may also feel as though objects are farther away or closer than you logically know they should be.

Numbness or tingling.

You will usually feel this in your fingers. Some panic attack sufferers feel numbness and tingling on the face, the arms and/or legs as well.

Flushing or chills.

Your body temperature may vacillate between chills and bursts of warmth, especially on your face.

Are These Symptoms Dangerous?

In general, no, and this is important to remember while you’re having a panic attack.

Panic attacks don’t kill and they don’t cause permanent injury. It may feel like your heart is about to stop or like you’re literally dying. But it won’t and you’re not.

In fact, the single worst thing you’re fearing during a panic attack is the fear itself. Being afraid of the symptoms causes you to panic more, which causes more physiological changes – continued quick, shallow breathing; more adrenaline output; etc.

Will I Faint During a Panic Attack? Will the Attack Last Forever?

Fainting during a panic attack is very, very unlikely and very, very rare. You probably won’t faint during a panic attack.

You may have had the experience of running away from the situation while you’re having a panic attack. After you’ve gone to what you perceive to be a safer location, your panic attack goes away.

It is important to know that the panic attack would have eventually resolved anyway. It went away faster due to your perception that you were going some place “safer,” but no panic attack lasts forever. Period.

Can I ‘Train Myself Out Of’ Panic Attacks?

Yes, over time, most people can eliminate or at least minimize the amount and/or severity of their panic attacks. Keeping the above facts in mind will be a huge help to you. You will reduce your fear of the panic attacks themselves and hence, over time, reduce them.

There are many great books out there (see a review of this one) that go into the mechanics of a panic attack and specifically address how to minimize or eliminate them. Also read the other articles on this site, which specifically address making your condition better.

You’re not alone. There’s help out there — but there’s also help in there: within yourself. Panic attacks are not uncommon. You’re not weird, you’re not “different” and you’re not going crazy. You’re a panic attack sufferer – and there is help, and hope.

 

 

Panic Attack Treatments

Panic Or Calm SignpostIf you suffer from panic attacks, you’ve probably heard a myriad of so-termed solutions, all of them different. You may be wondering, “Which solution is the right solution?”

The truth is that just like people themselves, panic is not a one-size-fits-all issue. Though the choices may seem confusing, it’s a positive thing that there are so many different things to try. This way, you can find the one, or ones, that work for you and for your panic.

Herbal Remedies

Don’t knock them — herbs really can help you with panic attacks.

  • Valerian root: Valerian root has long been used as a sleep aid due to its sedative properties. Used in small doses, this calming effect can help ease panic attacks and general anxiety. It’s great for “racing thoughts” too.
  • Passion flower: Passion flower works on the central nervous system to calm the physical effects of a panic attack.
  • Kava kava: Another herb often used as a sleep aid. It calms restlessness and nervous agitation.
  • Lavender: Try this as an essential oil or diluted (dab it on your wrists and neck) for a generalized feeling of calm.

Self-Calming Techniques

Don’t underestimate these, either. In our experience, the single most life-changing tool for stopping panic attacks (or getting through them) is what you have “up there” … your mind.

  • Tell yourself that you will not die from a panic attack. Panic attacks are so terrifying, you may feel you’re actually dying, particularly if you get physical symptoms such as a racing heartbeat. As bad as it feels, your panic attack will not physically hurt you. It has to end some time — there has never been a recorded panic attack that went on and on without ending.
  • Don’t run. Running away signals your body that there really is something to be terrified of. Stay where you are; go off unobtrusively into a corner for a little privacy if you want to be less conspicuous. Panic attacks end. You don’t need to run in order for that to happen, even if it feels like it. If in the past you’ve run away at the onset of a panic attack, and noted that afterward, it ended, please note that it absolutely, positively was going to end anyway.
  • Calm your breathing. DO NOT take overly deep breaths. This will produce the opposite effect – hyperventilation. Take calm, slow, even breaths and wait a beat or two between each one. Breathing regularly rather than the typical shallow, quick breathing that accompanies a panic attack signals your subconscious that there is nothing to physically be afraid of right now.
  • Don’t try to “fight” your panic attack. Fighting, whether literally or figuratively, signals your brain that there is something terrible going on. You want to feel less terrible, not more so. As hard as it is at first (this gets easier), go with the feelings. Rise up to meet them and feel them at their peak. They will go down; they have to. There is no such thing as an indefinite panic attack. But you can make yours shorter than it otherwise would have been by not fighting and hence producing more adrenaline, more fear and more panic.

Prescription Medications

If you’re debilitated by your attacks, it may take a few times out in situations while feeling calm to change things for you. For many people, this means, at one time or another, prescription medications. Ask your doctor. Xanax and Valium are popular on-the-spot meds that can stop a panic attack in its tracks.

Never take higher than the dosage your doctor prescribed and never take them proactively (in advance) except under the advice of your doctor. These can be habit-forming.

Counseling & Self Help

You may have felt hurt, embarrassed and traumatized by your panic attacks.  Talk to a counselor or therapist with experience in this area. Don’t be hesitant to try this — we all need someone to talk to. Self-help guides and systems to help control your panic can definitely help out, too – one such system is Panic Away.

Your counselor may also uncover reasons behind your panic attacks. Once you get to the heart of those, you may be able to address your panic issues more calmly. Knowledge is always power. Use it.

Remember that you are not weak. It takes a huge amount of strength and courage to have a panic attack and get through to the other side. If anything, you’re stronger and braver than the general population.

Respect yourself — you have an illness that you’re working through. Be proud; you are a survivor, and you’re going to come out on top.

 

Do Supplements Work For Anxiety?

supplements for anxietySome experts say anxiety is mental. Others say it’s physical. Now, the newest buzz is that it may actually be linked to vitamin or mineral deficiencies. And herbs are making the news as anxiety treatments, too.

In this article we explore supplements that are said to work for anxiety, and whether they may be right for you.

How Can a Vitamin or Mineral Deficiency Cause Anxiety?

Well, it may or may not. Officially, the jury’s still out on that. But new research into supplements for anxiety looks promising, potentially revealing one more key in dealing with panic issues.

Mineral and other bodily deficiencies could cause anxiety, or may add to a panic attack sufferer’s existing anxiety.

The reason is that the functions that allow a person to feel anxious, and then calm oneself, are complex. If one part of the system isn’t functioning properly, a person may feel too much or too little response to a given situation. In addition, brain synapses depend upon proper vitamin and mineral intake and utilization in the body.

What About Herbal Supplements?

Herbal supplementation doesn’t generally address a deficiency. Instead, most herbs used for anxiety produce a direct effect, such as a feeling of calmness and well-being. See below for some commonly used anti-anxiety herbs.

Vitamin D

Long known to be necessary in the prevention of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), vitamin D may ease anxiety, too.

Vitamin D, or “the sunshine vitamin,” is actually a precursor to a hormone. With our largely-indoors life, many people today are seeing vitamin D deficiencies, scientists say.

So far, studies linking vitamin D to anxiety are limited and have been very focused (for example, this one on vitamin D deficiency, fibromyalgia and anxiety/depression). But there does seem to be a link. See your doctor for an easy blood screening to determine whether you’re low in vitamin D. Supplementation can be a huge help.

The B Vitamin Family

A forerunner in supplementation research for anxiety is vitamin B. This is actually a family of vitamins, including B1 (thiamine), B6 (pyroxidone), B3 (niacinamide) and B12 (cobalamin). There are more constituents to the B vitamin family, but these four stand out as potential anxiety thwarters.

B vitamins work directly on the nervous system. They also stabilize the body’s level of lactates, which are linked to the anxiety-calm cycle.

They must be taken regularly (daily) in order to produce a generalized calming effect.

Magnesium

Magnesium deficiency is not uncommon, as today, many foods are stripped of their essential nutrients in processing. To make matters worse, magnesium is depleted during times of stress. Supplementing with magnesium can cause a generalized feeling of calm.

In fact, magnesium is often recommended by health professionals when one is experiencing sleep issues. It can produce a feeling of calmness to help one get more rest.

Be careful of over-supplementing with magnesium, as it can also produce a laxative effect. Start off slowly with this mineral, with the lowest recommended amount. Take magnesium daily to see results over time.

Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid  (GABA)

Normally, GABA is produced within the body from glutamic acid. Vitamin B helps with this conversion (see above for information on B vitamins).

If your body isn’t producing enough GABA, your brain’s neurotransmitters may not function properly, resulting in anxiety. Mild sleepiness may be a side effect of GABA. If this is a problem for you, try taking the supplement at night.

Ademetionine (SAM-e)

SAM-e is another chemical that is produced naturally in the body. This amino acid seems to increase the amount of seratonin, the “feel-good” chemical, in the brain.

Supplementation with SAM-e has been reported to reduce anxiety and in some cases, to ease certain types of muscular pain.

Be careful when supplementing with SAM-e, as large doses have been associated with anxiety and irritability. People diagnosed with bipolar disorder should not take SAM-e.

DO NOT take SAM-e if you are currently taking antidepressants except under the advice of your doctor.

5-HTP

5-HTP, a building block of seratonin produced in the body, reportedly reduces anxiety and may also increase the level of endorphins in the body, producing a feeling of well-being. Supplements are extracted from the seeds of the griffonia plant.

Go slowly when supplementing with 5-HTP, as it may cause drowsiness. It is also unknown how 5-HTP interacts with certain drugs, such as tranquilizers and weight loss medications. Ask your doctor before starting a 5-HTP regimen. DO NOT take 5-HTP if you are currently taking antidepressants or tranquilizers, except under the advice of your doctor.

Herbal Supplements

  • St. Johnswort extract is said to increase serotonin levels in the brain when taken regularly. Wear sunscreen and reduce sun exposure while taking St. Johnswort as it can produce photosensitivity (sensitivity to the sun) and may produce dark spots or patches on the skin. DO NOT take St. Johnswort if you are currently taking antidepressants except under the advice of your doctor.
  • Kava Kava is an herb that causes relaxation and calmness. It does not need to be taken regularly. Take kava kava for anxiety attacks or for periodic anxiety.
  • Valerian Root produces a sedative effect. It is commonly used in holistic medicine as a sleep aid. Take at night.

Before You Take Supplements for Your Anxiety

A word of caution: thoroughly research any supplement before taking it. Start at the minimum dosage and work your way up if needed. ALWAYS let your doctor know if you are planning on taking vitamins, minerals or herbs specifically to address your anxiety. Research any drug, herbal or food contraindications before taking any of the above supplements for anxiety.

How to Deal With Anxiety

anxiety-cycleTo a degree, everyone experiences anxiety. There’s pre-test anxiety, job interview anxiety, anxiety over household repairs or a family illness — all the “typical” things people are bound to get anxious about.

But for anyone who has experienced the intense anxiety of a panic attack, or ongoing general anxiety (GAD), it’s obvious how different these are from the typical “worry.” In fact, the two don’t even seem to be on the same planet, much less the same page.

We’ve been told to “just relax”, to “put things in perspective” and to “just think positive.” But that’s not what anxiety, particularly neurological/chemical anxiety, responds to.

Generalized anxiety and panic attacks may present without any warning and with or without a root cause that can clearly be seen. They can also happen after the crisis is over — or with no crisis at all. If you’ve ever suffered a panic attack, you know exactly what I mean when I say this disorder is not the typical cycle of worry. So the standard platitudes just won’t work.

What’s the reality about panic attacks and general anxiety? Do you need to fear them? Is there anything you can do about them?

1. Realize That You’re Not Going to Die

I’m not being cute here. As sufferers, we really do feel as if they’re going to die. Many, many anxiety sufferers have had the experience of going to the emergency room with what they thought must be a heart attack or a stroke – racing, pounding heart; trembling; an inability to put thoughts together; numb hands and feet and a deep, certain feeling that something terrible, really terrible, is about to happen.

Here’s the reality. As much as you may feel like it, you’re not going to die from a panic attack. Panic attacks from a physical standpoint are generally non-harmful, believe it or not.

If you’re having a panic attack or general anxiety, remember: the feelings themselves will not kill you. You can experience all of them (and I know just how unpleasant this is) and come out on the other side physically fine. This is important to keep in mind.

2. Do Breathing Exercises – Right Away

The shallow breathing that inevitably follows the onset of panic is normal. It’s your body driving oxygen into your body more rapidly for what it assumes will either be a fight, or a flight to safety. There is nothing wrong with you for breathing shallowly and quickly when you feel panic.

But since you don’t actually need the response here and now, you can signal your body that it’s okay to breathe more normally again. You do this by taking slow, complete but not overly deep breaths. Take a second or two between each breath.

You are signaling your body that there’s actually nothing to fight or run from, and at the same time you’re keeping other symptoms (such as numbness and tingling) from progressing. This can help further calm you, as fear is the driving factor here — not something physically dangerous.

3. Realize That You Don’t Need to Run Away

Your automatic reaction, and from a biological standpoint this is actually a pretty reasonable one, is to get away — fast. Your body is in “fight or flight” mode. There’s nothing to physically fight, so you just want to run away.

And that does seem to help. As you run away from the store, the classroom, the conference, slowly your heart begins to regain a normal rhythm. Your feeling of doom calms down. You being to regain feeling in your hands.

Your mind is telling you, “See? Running away worked.”

Except that it didn’t. The association of running away plus feeling better is what worked. In other words, by running away, you believed you would start to feel better. That belief is what made you feel better.

Actually running away didn’t do a thing. Which brings us to the next point.

4. A Panic Attack HAS TO Stop Some Time

You ran away, believing doing so would stop your panic attack. And gradually, it did stop.

But what you need to realize is that it would have stopped anyway. No panic attack lasts forever. Period.

A panic attack will stop whether you run, stay put, hop on one leg reciting Shakespearian couplets… it doesn’t matter, the attack must and will stop. Your body just doesn’t contain the chemicals it would require to sustain a panic attack indefinitely. Nobody’s body does. And that’s it.

5. Know That You Won’t Go Crazy or Faint

A huge part of panic involves the fear of “doing something crazy” in front of other people. You fear you’ll literally lose your mind right there and show yourself as a “total nutjob” in front of strangers or in front of people who know and love you and count on you to “stay sane.”

A panic attack will not cause you to literally lose your mind. It just won’t. That doesn’t happen. You feel a bit “crazy” and shattered while you’re having one, but you are not going to go running through the streets stark naked jabbering in tongues or something.

People just don’t literally go crazy from panic attacks. It’s never been documented. If you need mental help, that’s fine. Get it. But you won’t start out sane one day, then literally go crazy because of a panic attack.

Another fear many panic attack sufferers have is of fainting. Rarely, VERY rarely, does a panic attack sufferer faint, unless there was something else going on (i.e., an illness, dehydration, etc.).  And when we say very, we mean it.

But what if you did faint? So what? People would gather around you to help. They’d care. They wouldn’t think you were bizarre for fainting. People do faint. They’d do just what you’d do if you saw someone faint. They’d go over, try to help, make sure you were taken care of, and help you on your way again.

You’d stand up. You’d thank your helpers and you’d be on your way. However, it’s so unlikely this would actually happen that it’s only as a caveat that we really put this in. It is so common a fear for anxiety sufferers that it needed to be talked about. Now you know.

6. Drop the Shame

“What if I look crazy because I’m shaking?” “What if people see that I’m flushing/see that I’m going pale?” “What if people can tell something is wrong?”

What if? Most people are more wrapped up in themselves than in other people. You’re allowed to be imperfect at times. You’re allowed to look a little “off” at times. You’re allowed to go through what you need to go through. There is NO shame in dealing with panic. You’d be surprised to learn how many people around you deal with the same thing. They’re hiding it just like you.

Put away the shame. There’s no need for it and no reason for it. Nobody’s perfect. Do you expect yourself to be? Then drop that too.

You Are Not Alone

You are nowhere near as alone as you may think. You probably do a good job of hiding your symptoms. So do many panic and anxiety sufferers.  It’s a sad truth that we truly feel we’re “the only ones” — until we start doing our homework and find out just how common this is.

You’re never alone. Chances are, there’s somebody who understands. Join a real time or online group for panic sufferers. Talk about this. You can even order a system online to help you out.

Don’t hide it any more. You’ll be surprised how really dealing with it head-on rather than running in fear and shame can paradoxically help bring an end to your panic.

 

Panic Away – Does It Work? A Personal Review

panic awayWE LIKED: the author’s thorough content on the physiology of panic, the unique methodology and the specific case studies

WE DIDN’T LIKE: the author’s insistence that everyone can be helped by his method, with “no exceptions” (his words)

THE BOTTOM LINE: we would recommend this e-book as a great, drug-free alternative to help sufferers of panic disorders or generalized anxiety disorder

Will Panic Away Help You? Our Review…

Panic attacks can be debilitating. Literally.

If you suffer from them, you know this. In fact, you’re probably saying, “Understatement much?” Some panic sufferers are confined to only certain situations, only certain people for company, their neighborhoods, their homes, their beds.

We know exactly how awful, frightening, embarrassing and physically uncomfortable a panic attack can be. We know how you want to run away (and often do).

We know all about the frightening thoughts: “Am I going to have a heart attack?” “Am I going to faint in front of all these people?” “What if the anxiety attack just goes on and on and never ends?” “What if I go crazy?”

panic-buttonWe know how, once you come out of the other side of a panic attack, you always feel somehow like a failure – as if the panic attack were the enemy and you had thrown up the white flag.

It’s frustrating to say the least, and terrifying overall.

Once in a while, a truly revolutionary idea comes along that can help anxiety sufferers – not in a month, not in a week, but right away, while the anxiety is happening.

In reading Panic Away: How to End Panic Attacks and General Anxiety Fast, I feel author Joe Barry has latched onto just such an idea.

Of course, the book isn’t without its flaws. We’ll delve deeper into that, later.

Barry-McDonaghWho Is Joe Barry?

Barry Joe McDonagh (“Joe Barry”), a native of Ireland, developed his anti-anxiety plan while studying at the University College of Dublin (UCD). His thoughts on anxiety and panic disorders were first published in 2001.

Barry is neither a psychiatrist nor a psychologist – a fact he makes no bones about. Barry says that as a panic attack sufferer during his college years, he became frustrated with conventional methods for treating anxiety, and developed his own techniques, which he refined into a system and published both as a book (available on Amazon) and as a downloadable ebook, which you can get right away (scroll to the bottom for the link).

What You’ll Find Inside the Book

The Panic Away program consists of three stages:

  1. Trust
  2. Acceptance
  3. Persistence

Each stage warrants its own chapter that includes an explanation, in-depth instructions and real life case studies.

The book explains that most anxiety management techniques focus on a Band-Aid approach: relieve the symptoms. By contrast, Barry says his program works at the source for a more long-term relief system.

stagesWhile many methods we’ve researched involve “fighting” or overcoming the anxiety, Panic Away is adamant about how your feelings aren’t necessarily the enemy, and how to embrace the feelings in order to, paradoxically, make them stop being bothersome.

The book contains more than 70 chapters and sub-chapters (some very brief, making the book very readable) plus an Introduction.

The chapters run the gamut of anxiety triggers, including fear of flying, GAD (generalized anxiety disorder), Barry’s C.A.L.M. approach and even dealing with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

It also gives the “One More” technique, which Barry says can work not only for anxiety but for other issues.

The 21/7 Technique

Panic Away utilizes Barry’s 21/7 technique. In short, this means doing a 21-second countdown followed by a 7-second exercise. Both of these are extremely simple and can be done anywhere. There are also a number of additional exercises, both physical and mental (including visualization, affirmations, and breathing techniques) to help the stages along.

Barry says he has helped sufferers from all walks of life, every age group and both sexes to achieve relief following his 21/7 method.

What Do We Not Like About This Book?

We’ll list pros and cons below, but first, a few impressions on what might not work about the book.

The first is that we’re not so sure about Barry’s claim in the e-book that “Every single person can eliminate their anxiety by following the Panic Away Program. No exceptions!” Be careful of any program that gives absolutes. Do your research.

Another issue we have with the book is that it gets a bit “new-agey” in areas (for example, TFP, or Thought Field Therapy, that involves self-talk while tapping various areas of the body.)

We’re not saying these can’t work. We’re just saying we preferred the more scientific, practical, down-to-earth aspects of the book. (Don’t worry, the majority of the book is extremely pragmatic and practical, so you can work on getting relief immediately.)

This brings me to the third issue I had with the book: trusting oneself is a huge part of the process, and that makes sense. But Barry intimates that if the program isn’t working for you, it’s probably because you’re lacking that trust – he never suggests that the plan itself might not work for everyone.

Of course, if it doesn’t work for you, there is a money-back guarantee, so check that out, too.

The Not-So-New

The book combines Barry’s revolutionary thoughts and techniques on anxiety with some you may have heard of before. For us, this included:

  • affirmations (positive/encouraging/embolding thoughts stated aloud or to oneself)
  • visualizations (Barry is quite thorough with these)
  • realizing that panic is physically non-harmful for the most part/learning not to fear sensations
  • the fact that there may be setbacks during the process of eliminating panic

The Revolutionary

On the other hand, Barry makes a few “ah-ha!” statements that could mean a life change for panic sufferers.

  • going toward and not only fully accepting, but actually encouraging your body to do what it wants during a panic attack (“observe, embrace and demand more,” as the book says)
  • differences between situational and more generalized anxiety
  • how obsessive-compulsive disorder and panic attacks can be related
  • how to stop seeing this as a battle and “fighting yourself” every time a panic attack happens
  • specific ways that food, food additives and diet in general can help or hinder anxiety, including a few words about artificial sweeteners, such as Aspartame
  • the actual technique, which seems quite original, not the typical cookie-cutter “attacking anxiety” route

The Body’s Fight or Flight Response

One thing we found particularly useful about the e-book was its focus on the fight or flight response to anxiety, why it’s normal, and why it doesn’t have to blow up into a full-on anxiety attack.

Barry explained quite well what chemical reactions happen to keep the fight of flight response feeding on itself. This is what produces the full-on panic attack. It’s the culmination of the fear, the physical feelings (tingling in the hands or feet, for example) and then the fear of having those feelings.

Since this is the premise of basically all panic attacks, we felt an understanding of how it works could help sufferers in general. We felt Barry went quite in-depth with the actions of this phenomenon, physical and mental symptoms of manifestations, why they happen and even (believe it or not) why they’re not always bad.

A Word on Medications … and Bravery

We’re very glad medications were addressed in this e-book. Medications are commonly used to treat anxiety, in general as well as on-the-spot attacks. In our own experience, medications can definitely be a help. We’re not 100% anti-medication. Just making that clear.

Barry doesn’t deny that medications can be effective, but he points out that these treat symptoms, rather than the root of the problem. He claims that over time, as a sufferer utilizes 24/7 and C.A.L.M., the actual fear of having the panic attacks is reduced – hence potentially reducing their occurrence in the first place.

Barry also shows how panic attack sufferers are not cowards, using such sufferers as fire fighters as examples. We agree that there’s a great deal of shame attached to panic attack sufferers. Often they’re seen as weak or generally afraid. Barry says that’s not the case. In fact, “People with anxiety actually do the bravest things,” he states.

Barry also states that panic attacks are not as unusual as you might think. Many people are hiding it … probably just like you. Barry claims it’s time to come out of the closet, so to speak, and address the panic head-on with a useful technique rather than leaving the location and running for perceived safety.

Pros and Cons of the e-Book

Okay, folks. Here it is in a nutshell.

Cons

  • Barry does make some claims that we’re not sure about. For example, he states that the Panic Away approach works for everybody, no exceptions. In our experience, there are always exceptions, so we don’t feel he should be giving such guarantees.
  • We’d really like to see more footnotes as far as scientific data is concerned. We know the science is basically solid – this is an area we’ve studied for years – but how does the average reader know it?
  • Barry is so focused on the idea that this approach will work that he doesn’t really give a backup plan per se, something we’d like to see no matter what a program’s success rate is.

Pros

  • The book is an easy read, while at the same time giving solid scientific information. Barry strikes a good balance this way.
  • Barry doesn’t waste words. The e-book doesn’t have a lot of “filler.” It’s solid but very complete information.
  • The method really does seem to work for the majority of people who have tried it.
  • It’s much less expensive than other methods.
  • It gives sufferers a long-term solution.
  • The book gives real-life situations that are specific: when you panic on an airplane, in a car, etc.

panic away system

>> Check out the Panic Away System Now <<

Overall, this e-book is worth the read. It’s not a pill, potion or a magic formula. It addresses real science and speaks to people in all situations.

P.S. Let me know what you thought, too, by writing a comment below!

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