WE 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
- Get Panic Away Now, or read on …
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?”
We 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.
Who 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:
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.
While 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 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
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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!