There are some excellent, effective treatments for anxiety disorders including panic disorder and agoraphobia. Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) is an excellent treatment and it works by addressing your thinking and in particular teaching you to become more objective about the way that you view situations which are causing anxiety and challenging those fears which sounds like may be leading you to remain housebound and experince panic attack. Part of the behavioural aspect of treatment is about identifying situations which are difficult (eg going out of the house) and giving you strategies to assist you to face these situations. This inlcudes teaching you mental and physical (relaxation) strategies to bring the hyperventilation, racing heart etc symptoms under control.
You can access this through a psychologist, and under Medicare they you can have this funded in part or full. There are also FREE online programs which can be helpful and you can find this on the e-directory of services on the beyondblue website (www.beyondblue.org.au). You may also find it useful to consider some medication to start you off, this can help manage the symptoms and can be really helpful whilst you are undertaking the CBT. I would suggest you also have a look at the beyondblue factsheets on anxiety and the booklet “What works for Anxiety” which can be ordered online from our website (FREE) or you can order through our infoline 1300 22 4636.
Please let me know if I can help with other specific questions.
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