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Panic attacks and social anxiety - best treatment?

(12 Posts)
FrillyDrag Sat 15-Oct-11 10:39:51

Would anyone know the best treatment for panic attacks, especially those related to social anxiety? Psychological treatment and drugs.

My DD has had long standing issues with panic and social anxiety but they recently become worse and I am worried it will develop into agoraphobia as the places she can go to get less and less.

I also used to suffer from - untreated - panic attacks and never find social occasions easy though not everyone would be able to tell. I am finding it hard not to panic about her panic!

PrettyCandles Sat 15-Oct-11 18:04:36

Look into CBT. I have found it very helpful.

Also - and I'm entirely serious - singing. It helps regulate the breathing (a significant factor in panic attacks) and increases physical and emotional well-being. It is also a very focused social activity, which is much easier to cope with than free-flowing sociability. There are non-auditioning community choirs.

Rumplestiltskine Sun 16-Oct-11 01:07:51

I don't know how old your DD is, but I went through almost exactly what you're describing when I was about 17. I had CBT, anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds (beta blockers to ease the physical symptoms of the attacks), but it's all a bit blurry in my memory as to what really worked well. I feel that the thing that really got me better was having a small group of good friends who were willing to support me - they would come to my house (individually or in pairs, never lots at once) to see me when I wasn't up to going out, and when I started to get a bit better they would meet me in quiet, "safe" situations like walking the dog to get me used to being with people outside of my house again.

I hope she starts feeling better soon, it's a horrible thing to struggle with.

FrillyDrag Sun 16-Oct-11 19:33:54

Rumple DD is 19 and in her second year at Uni. All seemed to be going well (after initial panic attacks in Freshers week last year). I really wish she would reach out to friends but she won't even tell her boyfriend, even though he seems a kind, caring young man. That is part and parcel of who she is - likes to be self-contained. Wants to speak to the counsellor first and she's booked an appointment.

Pretty I do hope she gets referred to CBT. I'm worried about medication as I don't want her put on something she can't get off. I do feel the psychological route is better. I am completely over-identifying and worrying myself sick that it is the start of something more sinister and ingrained. I am not sleeping and keep getting tearful and blame myself for her 'inheriting' the anxiety issues. I know I need to get a grip and I know others have far more worries about their children but for some reason, it's doing my head in. I think I need CBT too!! Thanks for your replies

katelouise3 Sun 16-Oct-11 21:14:47

there is a good website nopanic.org.uk which you may find supportive.

PrettyCandles Mon 17-Oct-11 07:35:24

Frilly, accessing CBT for yourself as well is actually a very good idea. With your own experience of panic attacks, it's difficult not to project your own feelings about it onto your dd. Which I'm sure you know won't help her. Abd for yourself, you need to reframe your own thoughts about the situation, so that you don't get overwhelmed by it.

(Please read the above in a kindly tone - I have absolutely no intention of hectoring or lecturing you! smile)

Is your dd self-assertive enough to request CBT? Sometimes it seems that writing a prescription is a knee-jerk reflex, rather than considering other avenues.

FrillyDrag Mon 17-Oct-11 23:28:58

kate good link, thanks. Pretty, I don't mind a lecture and yes I should go for CBT! It's funny, I have a lot of challenges in my life that I deal with well, but my DD being unhappy seems to be the one that really makes me feel hopeless.

Her appointment was today and she's been incommunicado which always makes the nerves jangle (but isn't unusual).

PrettyCandles Mon 17-Oct-11 23:41:37

Oh lor, I know what you mean!

One of my greatest anxieties about my dc is bullying. I was bullied as a child and I dread the same happening to my dc. I don't know how to protect them!

Hope the meeting went well for your dd.

SingleMan25b Tue 18-Oct-11 00:43:12

If the anxiety is triggered by a specific event - eg: I got trapped (somewhere not very pleasant), which gave me a fear (anxiety and panic) of getting trapped again - then CBT is a good, but specifically have a look at the Human Givens Approach - Rewind Technique.

I thought Rewind sounded like complete nonsense when I first had therapy - but I have to say it really did work for me.

NB: Quite a few universities offer free counselling services.

fraktious Tue 18-Oct-11 07:15:07

I had this at Uni. Which is she at? Mine were neverendingly helpful and I know my way around the support services backwards.

I found beta blockers helped me cope because even if I was panicking inside I didn't get the physical symptoms.

FrillyDrag Tue 18-Oct-11 15:26:09

fraktious I won't say which uni but they certainly gave her a swift initial appointment. Quite a lot of online advice too so I hope she uses them like you used yours. I had beta blockers too and found them very helpful to have in my bag 'just in case'.

Single I will look into Rewind Technique. Bullying at school seemed to start the panic off, and she became very fearful of groups of teenagers and deeply self-conscious. However, I also had agoraphobia-based panic attacks with no real trigger apart from puberty, so I think she may have a familial link to anxiety. She thinks people will see her breathing get out of control and can't bear to draw attention to herself.

I don't know how she got on as she has gone incommunicado as is her want!

ThatsNotYours Thu 20-Oct-11 22:02:32

Any help? X

www.rcpsych.ac.uk/mentalhealthinfoforall/problems/anxietyphobias.aspx

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