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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What kind of doctor should I see for anxiety and panic attacks?

    I have been suffering from panic attacks, anxiety (and possibly depression) for the past year, and I am not sure if I should see a clinical or counselling psychologist for my illness.

    If anyone can give me advice on choosing a psychologist, that would be great too.
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 2


    My research interests include immunology and the mechanisms of amyloid formation. The latter has implications for people who are dealing with Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease … View Profile

    I think that making contact with a GP who has experience of working with clients with mental health issues is a good first step. If your current GP does, that is fine - if not you can search for one who does on the beyondblue site (

    An experienced GP will be able to draw up what is officially known as a Mental Health Care Plan with you. A MHCP will entitle you to a number of Medicare-subsidised sessions with a mental health professional. An experienced GP should know about (eg) clinical psychologists in your area whose expertise meets your needs and would be able to refer you to one of them.

  • 1




    Dr Louisa Hoey

    Clinical Psychologist, Psychologist

    I am a Clinical and Health Psychologist with over 10 years experience. I have expertise in working with people with disordered eating. I work with … View Profile

    An important thing to remember is that you have to find a person that you will feel comfortable talking with about your anxiety and panic attacks. Different therapists will have different styles so you need to find the right match for you.

    So, if your GP gives you a couple of names you can always do a bit of research. See if they have a bio on the web, give them a call and ask them how they might help. That might give you an idea if you will feel comfortable.  And then, if you do book in - go with your gut feeling after your first session. If you feel comfortable - great keeping going. If it doesn't feel right - then try someone else.

    I hope this helps.

  • 1


    Leah's mission is quite simply to help others take steps to walk their life journey. We have four primary 'parts' creating our life experiences. The … View Profile

    Hi I am an APD dietitian and have had personal experince in the association of food and mental health.  

    Anxiety and depression can be very debiltating, and depressing in itself.  Triggered by a number of factors, including what stress does to the digestive and hormonal systems.  

    Another way of supporting yourself in conjunction with counselling or psychological support is to look at your eating as there is a huge correlation between the food we eat and what it does to the body's chemistry.  Keep in mind, if we break everything down to its simplest matter, it is a bunch of molecules in their own simple arrangements.  Add this to the mix the body's chemistry, low levels of vitamins, often Vitamin Bs, minerals including selenium, zinc and magnesium and it is setting up a way towards altering brain/gut function and as a result  include symptoms of depression, anxiety, panic attacks. 

    Therefore, it could be useful to look at your diet, exercise, nutritional status.  Seeing if there are reactions to the foods you eat.  Personally, wheat and dairy will do my head in and get quite depressed.  I now avoid these and eat other foods which provide me the nutrients i need to keep my body healthy and happy.  A multivitamin, especially in the short term may be of benefit too. 

    I suggest speakin with Dietitian trained in mental health nutrition, and or food intolerances and take it from there.  If you need help, ask. 

    To a more level life.  Leah 

  • 1


    Ralph Graham


    Ralph Graham, Counsellor, Psychotherapist, helping those who are affected by:grief, loss, anxiety, phobias, panic attack.And those who have been traumatised by:crime, assault, sexual abuse and … View Profile

    If the source or real reason why there is panic is due to an earlier traumatic event then finding that incident and defusing the cause will be a good goal. The chances of this being the case I believe are high so this would be my first step. This is because while panic attacks are happening the anxiety around wondering when the next one will happen is likely to be huge.

    Imagine what the certain disappearance of panic would do to the anxiety. Techniques for handling panic vary and some can take many sessions over a period of time and still require certain thinking or management after completion. I would be seeking a therapist whose approach can deal with it rapidly and permanently. I use a method that can do this and I am sure there are others.

    If you have no luck let me know what area you are in by private message and I will endeavour to find someone for you.

    I also have responses to other questions on this. See them and the wisdom of other responders by clicking the links.

    My very best wishes,
    Ralph Graham
    To send me a private message click MAKE ENQUIRY

  • desafinado74

    HealthShare Member

    Many thanks to everyone who has replied. I found the answers to be most helpful. 

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