Daily panic attacks

Hi everyone! I am new to this forum but I have read a few posts and figured I would tell my story. My mom passed away a month ago and that in itself has been hard to deal with mentally. I am an only child and was very close to my mom. She battled stage 4 cancer for 8 months so I knew that she would pass away from it but knowing that didn't make it any easier mentally. I am worried about my dad's mental health now too.

For the past week, my anxiety has caused me to call in sick at work at least twice and I am hesitant everyday about leaving the house. I feel like my world is getting smaller and smaller. I have a therapist that I started treatment with recently. I always feel good when I leave but I have had the worst week ever! I can't seem to calm myself down without taking ativan. I don't want to rely on the pills but it's hard to suffer through this sometimes. I started listening to hypnosis videos on YouTube and they seem to help me relax and i usually can fall asleep listening to it.

I just wish I could stop the negative thoughts on a daily basis. Has anyone had tremendous success with CBT?

14 Replies

  • I haven't had any experience with behavioral therapy yet. I'm still on the fence about it after looking into it. Without actually trying it I can't evaluate it correctly but I imagine there is a limit to what and how effectively it treats symtoms. This is my educated guess. If it were a super universal cure than using it wouldn't even be a question it would be policy so you can see where paranoia may actually be revealing. When I choose to quit self helping and try therapy and medication again I'll get serious about giving CBT a real chance to succeed. So it's worth a try but not worth putting faith into in my opinion.

  • I just started CBT about a month ago and see her once a week. It seems to help a little because I learn different coping strategies but I feel like it is most beneficial because you are able to talk to someone who doesn't know you outside of therapy and it's like a third party. And she is very honest with me and tells me that some of my expectation are not real.. Puts some things into perspective. At this point I am willing to try anything so I will continue to go.. Only time will tell.

  • What expectations are those please? Has any of the coping strategies really helped in managing your panic attacks on a regular basis?

  • I had a fairytale relation all put together in my head about the way me and my boyfriend should be but she kind of explained that it was unrealistic and not many people can get what I expected. I guess in a nut shell I am too needy lol. She thought me a lot about thought stopping. Like if a crazy thought comes into my mind, I run with it. For example I would think what if I crashed my car. Then I would go through each step in my head about how I would handle the situation. Now I am able to realize that the initial thought it irrational and stop it with a mantra like 'let it go's or 'it might happen but its not happening now' before I go through the steps of how to handle it. Also she helps me to set goals for the week. My life is a mess and I put a lot of pressure on myself to figure out all the answers at once. She gives me goals.. Like this week I had to forget about my relationship problems and my job and focus on school and if I am taking a summer class. By focusing on one thing at a time it helps keep my anxiety down. Obviously my other worries are still there but I keep telling myself that I have time to figure those things out. What is most important right now! Hope this helps.

  • Why is imagining and making decisions on what you would do in the case of a car accident a bad idea again? Persons are different, some don't wait till things happen to make a decision, we make those decisions for ourselves ahead of time, while others like to be surprised by everything that happens. So why did your therapist decide that you needed to stop thinking that way? That is actually a strength you ought to build upon and not something to stop.

    Also why can't you set your own goals for the week? I thought the therapist is there to help you better self-manage your own life and affairs?

    This link here will help you identify some of your strengths if you are interested


  • Thank you! I guess I should havr explained better. I was living my life in the 'what-if?' Everything I did, I would freak out and come up with some irrational what if situation.. Quite honestly it was getting out of control. For example, I would be eating and think what if I was all of a sudden allergic to this food I have eaten my whole life and had a terrible reaction and then I would go through the situations of what I would do. Or I would be going to pick my son up from school and say what if he wasnt there when I got there and then go through the situations all over again.. It was to a point that everything I did had an irrational thought to go with it. Then my anxiety would take over and it would be a downward spiral and I would be convinced I was dying. So by practing thought stopping I was able to gain control of my every day life again.. And in regards to the goals we recognized all the stress factors in my life then together wotked out which ones are more important and which ones I can stop worrying about for now. Then I was the one that decided to set that goal instead of tackling everything at once and having a mental breakdown.

  • how long have you been in therapy? Are you not taking any medication help you quiet down the anxiety so you can properly engage and fight your demons?

  • I have only been in therapy for about a month so not long. I am on lamictal for bi polar and xanax as needed and adderall to calm the racyness

  • Adderall is a stimulant, and stimulants give you a jolt, not calm you down in anyway

    How often have you had to take the xanax? .

  • Xanax I wad taking a few tines a day.. Now I take .5 in the morning and sometimes another in the evening if I have a panic attack. The adderall was supposed to be to help with my jittery unable to focus out of control feeling. So far I have not noticed a difference.. The xanax for sure helps.

  • I am sorry to hear this. I'm also sorry for your loss, I lost my partner 23 days ago. CBT didn't work for me. I am talking to a counsellor, that will end next week and she suggested bereavement counselling which I am in the process of setting up.

  • What about CBT didn't work or did you not like?

    I am very sorry for your loss 😢

  • Tu. I had a trainee CBT therapist. I told him from the start I had great trouble making goals for the future. He seemed to ignore this and focus heavily on this. I'm not talking about little steps/goals, I'm talking about big ones. I didn't really felt he listened. And I did try to do everything he said and be honest. I didn't feel it that worthwhile.


  • Such a sad situation. I'm surprised you are even going to work. I might have left my job and locked myself at home for awhile.

    Our brain believes what we tell t to believe. Trust me. Tell yourself , Your mom is in heaven and her misery is gone. Cancer can be very painful. Losing a loved one to death can take several months, years to heal. It's a slow process. Give yourself time to heal. Time will make you stronger. Time heals all.

    For now, nothing will make you feel good. You just lost your mother and the feeling of someone gone forever, someone you can't touch, see, feel ever again - is a horrible sick to stomach feel. I lost my dad at an early age 15 years ago and if I sit think about that day - I can't breathe, I fall apart. I can never get over it. I just have gotten busier with life so I don't think about it that often - thought comes once in a while and I just sit and cry, let it out.

    Getting busy in life in future is the only way to move on...

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