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Bloggers from around the globe, discuss mental health issues facing people, friends, families and communities worldwide.

Getting A Grip On Your Panic Disorder

Despite their superstar status and larger-than-life personalities, the rich and famous are not immune to phobias or having intense fear. By being as prone to fear and anxiety as the rest of us, they reveal how normal they can be.

These celebrities have fears that hound millions of other non-celebrities. What do these celebrities fear the most?

Michael Jackson, Whoopi Goldberg, and Jennifer Aniston share the same fear of flying. Orlando Bloom is scared of pigs and Johnny Depp is afraid of clowns. Nicole Kidman is afraid of butterflies. And would you believe that Pamela Anderson is afraid of mirrors?

Celebrities and non-celebrities can break out into panic attacks whenever they encounter that which they fear the most. While it is common to be just uncomfortable about facing a certain fear or scary situation, there are some cases when the fear can be so overwhelming that it causes total panic.


What is a panic attack? A panic attack is a sudden intense fear followed by an overwhelming feeling of danger. It is often accompanied by anxiety, sweating, rapid breathing, and rapid heart beat. Panic attacks are sudden and unprovoked. It can even worsen into a debilitating condition that pose a devastating impact on a person's family, work, and social life. An attack can occur at anytime and it can interfere with day-to-day activities. An untreated panic disorder can possibly lead to substance abuse, depression and, in rare cases, even suicide.


Panic disorders can develop during the teen years or early adulthood. People with panic disorder have this dreaded fear of danger or terror and it could repeat without warning. It is far more intense than the feeling of simply being 'stressed out'. A panic attack includes:

  • Trembling
  • Shaking
  • Sweating
  • Chest pains
  • Hot flashes
  • Racing heartbeat
  • Light-headedness
  • Fear that you are going crazy or about to die

People who have full-blown, repeated attacks can be psychologically disabled by their condition and should seek treatment. They should also avoid places or objects that could trigger another panic attack. A panic attack is not dangerous, but it can be terrifying, largely because it creates a feeling of being 'out of control' on the part of the person who is suffering from it.

Only a licensed therapist can diagnose a panic disorder. Occasional bouts with worry and moderate levels of anxiety are still considered normal. However, panic attacks that occur more than four times in a row is a sign that a person is under extreme psychological stress. Persons who experience frequent, debilitating panic attacks should immediately seek the assistance of a mental heath professional.

Most insurance plans and health management organizations (HMOs) provide coverage that includes treatment for anxiety disorders. To make treatment more effective, people with panic disorders are advised to join a support group or undergo sessions with a psychiatrist. Even something as simple as talking to a trusted friend, a loved one, or a church counselor can do wonders. Stress management techniques and meditation can help people with such disorders. Regular exercise can also have some calming effect on a person saddled with worries.

Getting Help for your Panic Attacks and other Anxieties

Are you having trouble getting rid of your panic attacks and other anxiety related problems? It is not easy to manage your anxieties, however here are some techniques a person can use to help conquer their panic attacks and other anxiety related symptoms.

The first step is that you should talk to a professional who can get you started in the right path of getting better. Getting help from a counselor or other professional is very important and can provide you much help and insights in dealing with your current problem.

A good way to manage your anxiety is to challenge your negative thinking with positive statements and realistic thinking. When encountering thoughts that make your fearful or anxious, challenge those thoughts by asking yourself questions that will maintain objectivity and common sense.

When overwhelmed with worry, a person may encounter a lot of scary thoughts coming at them all at once. Instead of getting upset, remember that these thoughts are exaggerated and are not based on reality. From my interviews with various professionals, I’ve learned that usually it is the fear behind the thoughts that gets us worked up. Ignore the fear behind these thoughts, and your worry should decrease.

Sometimes, we get stressed when everything happens all at once. Instead of taking it out on someone else a person should take a deep breath and try to find something to do for a few minutes to get your mind off of the problem. A person could take a walk, listen to some music, read the newspaper or do an activity that will give them a fresh perspective on things. This mental timeout can help you refocus on your current situation.

Another thing to remember is that things change and events do not stay the same. For instance, you may feel overwhelmed today with your anxiety and feel that this is how you will feel the rest of the week or month. This isn’t correct. No one can predict the future with 100 Percent accuracy. Even if the thing that you feared does happen there are circumstances and factors that you can’t predict which can be used to your advantage.

As a Layman I realize that experiencing a panic attack is scary. The next time it happens remember to apply some of these techniques you recently learned. The key is to be patient and not to give up. In time, you will be able to cope with your panic attacks.

Reference: ZIP Articles

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Should You Confide in Your Friends About Your Panic Attacks?

Imagine sitting in the gymnasium at your child’s school while you’re having a full-blown panic attack.  There are people all around you and if you get up to leave the gym everyone will be staring at you.  Your heart is racing a million miles a minute.  Your face and body are drenched in sweat from heat to toe like you’ve just run a marathon.  What a nightmare!

Unfortunately, I don’t have to imagine this because I lived it.  This happened to me in the spring of 2005 and was the worst panic attack I’d ever experienced.  I felt utterly humiliated as other parents that I knew sat beside me and wondered what the heck was wrong with me.

To me the only thing I could do at that moment was lie, so I told other parents that I was having trouble with hormones and hot flashes.  I felt sure I couldn’t admit that I was having a panic attack because these people would think I was “crazy”.  My child went to school with their children, who would sometimes come over to my home.  There was no way I could admit the truth.

The only two people to whom I ever confessed my panic attack problem were my sister and my best friend.  That holds true to this day, even eight months after I found a cure for my panic attacks and no longer struggle with this issue.  However, the stigma is still there.

What is it about anxiety disorders or panic attacks that make people afraid to speak out about them?  Anxiety sufferers are afraid that they’ll be seen as weak or that people will look at them differently.  It’s ironic that when people have a physical illness such as kidney problems that they have no problem discussing it with others.  But when you bring a problem that can be viewed as a “mental illness” into the picture, people shut up like clams.

I’m not personally convinced that anxiety disorders can be classified as a mental illness as the problem has less to do with brain activity and more to do with the nervous system.  The “fight or flight” mechanism is usually out of whack in anxiety patients and needs to be re-set so that the body can produce normal physical reactions to trigger events.

So are you in denial about your panic attacks?  How many people are you going to lie to before you finally get help for this problem?

I don’t recommend confiding to your inner circle of friends unless you’re absolutely positive that you’ll get the support you deserve.  I can’t imagine anything worse than not being taken seriously about this issue. 

However, you might be surprised at the response you get if you share your secret.  You may discover a new ally in your panic attack problem. 

For example I was surprised to learn that my best friend struggled with panic attacks as well after I finally confided in her about mine.  It was very comforting to me to be able to discuss this problem with someone without feeling like I would be viewed as unstable.

Panic attacks are just that:  a problem.  It’s not a disease and you don’t have a mental illness.  Panic attacks affect millions of people from all walks of life.  You are not alone.  Do some research online and you’ll find user groups and online information waiting to be discovered.  If you don’t want to open up to someone in person you may find an online friend that is struggling with the same condition.

So don’t give up. Take that first step.  There is a help for you. 

Reference: ZIP Articles

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The Cause of Panic Attacks

Often panic attacks occur for no apparent reason. Their causes are shrouded in mystery. They can strike unexpectedly, suddenly, spontaneously.

That said, panic attacks tend to occur when your are under stress. They can also crop up when you are about to face a situation that you are afraid of, either consciously or unconsciously. That situation could be real or imagined. For instance, you may have a public speech to give and your mind might be working overtime on the (un)likely reaction of your audience.

Your fears and phobias are often your worst enemy. They can trigger a panic attack when you least suspect it, with no advance warning. The first thing you'll know is that the panic attack has started. Which isn't a pleasant situation to be in.

Sometimes panic attacks are associated with hereditary factors. If someone else in your family has suffered from panic attacks then there is a higher chance that you will also suffer from unexpected panic attacks.

At other times, life changing situations can bring on the feeling of panic. Often these situations are associated with distress, such as divorce, loss of your job or even moving house, which is said to be one of our most stressful occurrences.

As well as these situations, there are other things that contribute to panic attacks.

Too much nicotine and/or too much caffeine can both work against you. They are fairly easy to cut down on, although not always as easy to cut out completely. Watch out for withdrawal symptoms, especially with caffeine.

Alcohol is another substance that is worth cutting down if you suffer from panic attacks. If you're out with friends, try alternating between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. If, for instance, every other drink is a juice or a sparkling water, no-one except you will know that there's no alcohol in the drink.

Please remember panic attacks can make life miserable. Do your best to learn and USE coping skills, especially breathing techniques. We have more and more blogs and articles concerning panic attacks and anxiety attacks. If your attacks become more regular please talk with your doctor.

Reference: ZIP Articles/Ryan F Shiloh

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Anxiety Check: Taking A Pause

Exhausted from all the job-related tasks that you have to deal with everyday? Have the papers piled up so high that you can no longer see the person next to you? Do you now see your job as a drag? Just maybe, you may no longer be enjoying your work. You are now bored and somehow expect to be in the middle of a work performance catastrophe. In the back of your mind, you already know that your poor performance may lead you back to the unemployment line.

Stress and anxiety brought by everyday challenges at work can affect a person's interest and skills in the office. Even if most people are aware of how much competition there is out in the market where only the best lands a job, the stress and anxiety can really take a toll on even the most promising professional. Stress and anxiety, no matter how one tries to avert it, is like a hovering vulture that persistently waits to feast on a “dead-tired” person.

But nobody in his right mind would just give up. Even those who say they already hate their job try to revive all the passion they once had for their job or the company. So instead of just waiting to get axed, why don't you try and consider the following tips on how to get back your drive for work:

Check on your ego. This is the first thing that you must look into as you go along your self-check routine because one's ego is the hardest thing to overcome. Aside from stress and anxiety at by work, being egocentric brings unnecessary worries and apprehensions. It is but natural to hear unsolicited comments or advice from some colleagues and superiors. While some comments may be harmful and unfounded, a little criticism taken in a positive way can actually help improve your performance.

Check on what you know. Updating one's knowledge is very essential to improving one's craft. Competition in the workplace leaves no room for mediocrity. Those who do not try to improve themselves are actually more prone to stress and anxiety. Jealousy, intrigue, and unfair competition can hurt not only the employees but the company as well. A worker that strives to improve his performance will have lesser things to worry about since he lets his work and outputs do the talking.

Managing stress and anxiety in the office can be done through many ways. It is the same way with improving one's work performance. Getting ahead does not always mean being in a frenzy. Improving one's work and reducing anxiety may actually entail the act of “slowing down.” This is best illustrated in the story of a young woodcutter who tried to impress his boss by always hitting trees in full force every time he swung his axe. On his first day on the job, the young woodcutter fell the most number of trees. He was trying to show his commitment to the job by never taking breaks. He just kept swinging at the trees with his axe. But after the third day, the Chief Woodcutter approached the young apprentice and asked, “How come you now cut less number of trees as you did during the first two days? Even if you did not take breaks, you still finished at the bottom in our team of woodcutters.”

Finally, the Chief Woodcutter asked the young lad, “Did you sharpen your axe?”

Reference: ZIP Articles

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Anxiety Depression

From a religious stand-point, Jesus once asked his 12 disciples: “Which of you by worrying can add a single strand of hair to your head?” Now, you may be of a religious background or maybe not, but, think about that statement and you’d see why worrying, a main symptom of anxiety depression is quite unnecessary. 

Reduced to its simplest form, what is worry? It is simply an unhealthy and destructive mental habit that- believe it or not folks-you were not born with but simply acquired out of practice. The good news is, with aggressive actions, as with any habit and acquired attitude; we can be worry free and eliminate it from our lives successfully.

In the words of Dr. Smiley Blanton, a noted Psychiatrist: “Anxiety depression is the great modern plague.” Other psychologists go on to say ‘worry’ a noted symptom of any form of depression, is the most subtle and destructive of all human diseases. When we worry excessively, we disintegrate our inner workings as humans and really put a lot of things out of order. Needless to say avoiding worry as a step of treating depression and anxiety will be the first step for our own benefit.

Anxiety Depression: Steps to take to be Worry Free:
The following steps should be used to deal with anxiety depression and its main symptom, worry. When used wisely and effectively, you will inevitably be successful at these natural depression help techniques.

Practice Mind-drainage: Empty your mind of pessimistic and negative thoughts, especially before going to and after waking up from sleep. This involves some degree of imagination friends. (the same imagination-mind you-that you are actually using to aggravate your present situations…didn’t realize that eh?). This mind-draining strategy cannot be overemphasized as I will let you know, if you fear something for a long period of time, it may actually come to pass. “For the thing which I feared has come upon me…” (Job 3:25)
Fill up the mind with powerful thoughts of faith and success to fill up the vacuum now left in the mind. You become a worrier by practicing it, you can be worry-free by practicing the opposite.
Say positive things about those things you previously spoke negatively of.
Never participate in a worry conversation. Induce your conversation with faith and worry-free statements.
Make friends with optimistic people, practice prayer and meditation.
Exercise and eat right. You’ll be making yourself look and feel better and consequently stronger through the process for overcoming depression, anxiety and becoming worry free.
No one is saying things will be automatically changed overnight.
No, it takes work. However with direct and equally aggressive actions as the destructive worry habits one may be indulging in, anxiety depression can be overcome and you too can be worry free if you believe in your mind you can.

Reference: ZIP Articles

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