21 days without a panic attack — How I did it

My last post was about panic attacks, and I’m happy to share that it seems as though I’ve recently overcome them. I had suffered from panic attacks for three years, and though I have gone for three weeks without a panic attack before, it always seemed to be random luck and not because of a therapy I tried.

So what is the therapy? Cognative Behavior Therapy or CBT. Specifically, the book “When Panic Attacks” by Dr. David Burns which covers CBT techniques for overcoming anxiety, panic, and depression. There are forty techniques in all. If you’re like me, when you read the book, some of the techniques will resonate with you better than others. I particularly found success with one called “Memory Rescripting”, in which you mentally reshape a memory so that it is no longer threatening or harmful, as well as “Cognative Exposure” techniques in which you mentally expose yourself to things that cause panic, instead of trying to mentally run away.

The final chapter of the book recommends selecting fifteen of the forty techniques at random and trying them to see which work. This is exactly what I did, and it seems to have been a big success. It’s been three weeks and counting.

I met someone else who did CBT for panic attacks and he stopped having them.  I asked him “Do you live in fear that the panic attacks might come back?” His response was, “No, because now I know what to do.”

To your health.

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