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Take Back the Power

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Understand that the symptoms and sensations of a panic attack and/or anxiety is how you are 'supposed' to feel when you have a panic attack and/or anxiety.
Anxiety Disorders - Prevention Check List continued

Once you have reassurance you are experiencing panic attacks, either by your doctor or from a second medical opinion, then you are going to need to believe and accept it. If you don't believe and accept the diagnosis, then your fear that something else may be wrong , can escalate the development of an anxiety disorder.

Read as much information as you can about panic attacks and anxiety. Become informed. Knowledge and understanding of your experience is extremely important. Knowledge is Power. Power over your panic attack/s and any anxiety that may be developing.

Make contact with your local anxiety disorder organization. They will be able to provide you with information and referrals to an anxiety disorder specialist if you need one. Some organizations will be able to provide you with support.

Understand that the sensations and symptoms of your panic attacks and any ongoing anxiety about them, do make you feel as if you are going to die, or have a heart attack, or go insane, or lose control. These fears do not come true. These fears are based on the symptoms that you experience during a panic attack and/or anxiety.

Speak with your doctor about early intervention methods such as cognitive therapy. If they are unable to assist you, ask for a referral to a cognitive Behavioural therapist. See the interview CBT with clinical psychologist, Chris Edwards.

If you are prescribed medication on your first or subsequent visit with your doctor assess your situation carefully. Medication is not a 'cure'. You may develop panic attacks again once you have withdrawn from the medication. In the early stages of the development of an anxiety disorder, you are in a position to learn to manage any future panic attacks yourself without getting caught up in a possible medication 'cycle'.

Become informed about any medication you are considering taking.

If your doctor tells you that you need medication to stop any further panic attacks and/or you will be on medication for the rest of your life, seek a second opinion.

If you are prescribed tranquillisers ensure that you only take them for 2 - 4 weeks as you can develop an addiction to them.

There is a time and place for medication and if you feel you need it, then don't get caught up in thinking that you are a failure or that you are 'weak'. You are not. Many of us have needed to take medication at one point.

Withdraw any medication under medical supervision.

When reading various websites about anxiety disorders or visiting chat rooms or bulletin boards or attending a group, you will see that some people have had their anxiety disorder for a number of years. This does not mean that you will. Many people have not received effective treatment or may have unresolved personal issues that are complicating their long term recovery.