Awful panic attacks


Awful panic attacks


your avatar   37 year old woman from New Jersey

I have suffered from panic attacks for over 12 years off and on!

I have been on several different medicines and have seen a head doctor but I don't feel that it is working. I just ordered several books on this to see if that helps. If you could give me any suggestions to deal with this problem I would be grateful!!! Thanks


    Jef Gazley, M.S., LMFT, LPC, LISAC, DCC

Dear -,

Panic attacks are probably the most intensely painful psychological condition I can think of. It feels like an accelerator on a car has just gotten stuck and it is propelling you straight into traffic without any way to control it. It is especially terrifying because there is usually no logical reason to be scared and it comes on without any warning.

The original cause for a panic attack is either a chemical imbalance in the neurotransmitters or brain chemicals, a past trauma, or a combination of both. Once an attack has been experienced a complex syndrome develops because of how novel and frightening it is. A person's central nervous system gets sensitized to the attack and does not go back to normal for an extended period. This exaggerates the flight, fight, and freeze response and sticks the accelerator. It is as if a person's body is waiting for the next attack and this makes another one much more likely. This is called anticipatory anxiety. There is often a hereditary link with this disorder in that some families have a depletion of Serotonin, which is one of the neurotransmitters.

Everyone tends to have their favorite treatment modalities for panic attacks, but most people use a combination of medication, relaxation techniques, and talk therapy. What I have found very helpful is to check with Applied Kinesiology which neurotransmitters are depleted. I often find that a client's Serotonin and GABA is low. I refer that client to a chiropractor/acupuncturist/nutritionist that I work with and he verifies my findings and puts them on a GABA supplement and vitamins. He also works to balance the body's set point so that the anticipatory anxiety becomes lower.

I will then evaluate how the client is doing and if they are still experiencing problems refer them to a medical doctor or psychiatrist that I use and they will probably be put on Paxil, which is an anti-depressant and Klonopin, which is a tranquilizer. The Klonopin is addictive so we use it only for a month or two, but it is almost impossible to have an anxiety attack when a person is using it.

Throughout this process I am teaching the client to use alternative breathing exercises, which is a Yoga technique to relax, teaching them self-hypnosis and providing them with a hypnotic tape, and using some Thought Field Therapy or TFT, which is also based on Applied Kinesiology to reduce body memory for the panic. I also am looking for any trauma-based cause for the panic by using Neuro-Emotional Techniques or NET, which is also based on Applied Kinesiology. This technique is amazingly effective. I also will use EMDR, which is a trauma release tool as well. All these modalities work very quickly and time is of the essence with this disorder. It is very helpful to break the cues early. However, it is also effective for people who have suffered panic attacks for years as you have.

I hope these suggestions have been helpful for you and wish you good luck in a speedy recovery.

Jef Gazley, M.S.

This question was answered by Jef Gazley M.S. Jef has practiced psychotherapy for twenty-five years, specializing in Love Addiction, Hypnotherapy, Relationship Management, Dysfunctional Families, Co-Dependency, Professional Coaching, and Trauma Issues. He is a trained counselor in EMDR, NET, TFT, and Applied Kinesiology. He is dedicated to guiding individuals to achieving a life long commitment to mental health and relationship mastery. His private practice locations are Scottsdale and Tempe, Arizona. You can also visit Jef at the internettherapist, the first audiovisual mental health online counseling center on the net.For more information visit:

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