In the past, Doctors have prescribed medication for anxiety, panic and stress, but over the last few years research has shown that there are more effective ways of treating these problems. Panic attacks are common and occur in up to five percent of the general population. They are described as a sudden feeling of intense apprehension, fear or terror together with physical symptoms such as difficulty breathing, heart palpitations, sweating, dizziness and shaking. Panic attacks are one of the symptoms of a build-up of stress and they can be very frightening if the person doesn’t know what is happening. Stress is the result of an imbalance between the demands made on us and our personal resources to deal with these demands. Learning what causes panic attacks is half the treatment. The other half of the treatment is anxiety and stress management using evidence-based psychological treatments like cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). Mindfulness-based cognitive therapies like Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), as well as regular meditation, has been shown to be very helpful for reducing anxiety and stress. You can learn more about ACT at Dr. Russ Harris’ website.
Other anxiety disorders can include specific phobias, generalized anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. To learn more about the anxiety and other mental health disorders go to Anxiety Online and Beyond Blue.