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  • Shared Experiences

    Panic Attacks sufferer

    I have suffered on and off with panic attacks ever since I was pregnant with my third child. I have tried various treatments such as prayer, counseling, exercise, breathing techniques and relaxation, a chiropractor, kinnesiology and of course medication. I still get the anxiety attacks and I am finding that even though the triggers used to have the same theme, now it can be anything and I am very concerned that this will not get better and that I will be on medication forever
    • 2 comments
    • Grant McKell
    • Dr Louise Shepherd
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  • Grant McKell

    Psychologist

    Grant McKell is a counselling psychologist working in Sydney's inner west with over ten years' experience. He founded HeadsUp Psychology in August, 2011. Having worked in … View Profile

    Ok, I'm not saying that your doctor is wrong in their diagnosis and treatment using medication, but I do think it might be worth getting a second opinion here from another medical practitioner. I say that because you say that it is ever since you were pregnant with your third child, which makes me very suspicious that something medical is at play here. I'm not a medical practitioner, so wouldn't like to speculate about whether or not this is absolutely the case.
    Have you seen a psychologist? This might be worthwhile as well. It could be that the therapy used wasn't effective for panic attacks. A good psychologist will will be able to identify the triggers that used to spark the panic attacks and work out ways to deal with these.
    I'm wondering also if you have become so vigilant for those triggers that now you have hyper-vigilance, verging on generalised anxiety. In a sense, I'm wondering if you have become anxious about having panic attacks.
    Lots of questions there, I know, but I guess I'm trying to show that there can still be a lot that can be explored and that it's worthwhile to keep trying to find answers.
    In short, get a second opinion to make sure the medication and daignosis is correct, with a view to seeing a psychologist who may be able to help you further in your quest to conquer the panic attacks!
    Don't give up, let us know how it goes.

  • Dr Louise Shepherd

    Clinical Psychologist, Psychologist

    I am a clinical psychologist with 15 years experience working with all sorts of goals and issues. I love working with people, helping them to … View Profile

    Well done on taking so many steps to deal with the panic attacks. Panic attacks are really unpleasant and it must be super tough dealing with 3 kids on top of worrying about your health. 

    It can certainly be a good idea to get a second opinion as Grant says - without wanting to sound silly, pregnancy and  2-3 kids is enough to cause a great deal of stress and even panic - raising kids is bloody hard work and if you are not sleeping well our bodies tend to go a little haywire. 

    I believe a very helpful approach is learning to not be so scared of your panic. This may sound strange but you can learn skills to change the way you relate to symptoms of anxiety and not be bullied by them so much. This approach is called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. I'd encourage you to check it out here: http://contextualpsychology.org/act_in_popular_media

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