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Anxiety-Panic Expert  


Anxiety-Panic Expert Q&A's
Name: Bridget

Hello, I am a 48 year old female and I have suffered with panic attacks for over 20 years. For the last 8 years they have become worse and I have not been able to travel due to sudden uncontrollable urges to find a bathroom. After several "accidents" and "close calls" I stopped going places. Even thinking about getting in the car makes me uncomfortable, just knowing that I am away from a bathroom seems to trigger this reaction. It is a constant worry because it can happen even at home. There is nothing physically wrong, I have had all the tests. I wish I could do normal things again. This is not all in my head...but There is some type of physical connection that I cannot seem to control. Do you have any suggestions? Sincerely, Bridget

Hi Bridget

The 'physical' connection you speak of, is the link between your thoughts and your symptoms. We are frightened of our symptoms and/or their effects, and it is the way that we think about them that turns on the fight and flight response. The fight and flight response is a natural response in humans andanimals that is automatically activated in times of danger.

When the fight and flight response is activated, our heart rate increases, our breathing becomes faster and we may hyperventilate, our muscles tense, we may perspire and may need to bathroom. The need to go to the bathroom can happen as the body 'shuts down' non essential organs such as the stomach, bladder and bowel to conserve and re direct energy, so that we can either fight or flee the dangerous situation.

The way we are thinking is creating 'danger'. Our body does not know the difference between the thought "here comes a truck without any brakes and it is coming straight for me", and our fearful panic and anxiety thoughts..'what if....' In your case....'what if I need to go to the bathroom..'what if I can't make it...what if I can't find one."

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is the most effective therapy in the long term for anxiety disorders. It helps us to learn to control our panic and anxiety producing thoughts so that the fight and flight response is not activated.

If you are interested in CBT, your doctor can refer you to a cognitive behavioural therapist or you can visit our world wide referral web pages: http://www.panicattacks.com.au/pa/links/cbtindex.html

Kind Regards,

Bronwyn Fox

Power Surge Anxiety-Panic Expert

Founder of The Panic Anxiety Hub

Online Panic Anxiety Management Program

E.mail Bronwyn Fox

Author of Power Over Panic: Freedom From Panic/Anxiety Related Disorders"

and Power Over Panic (2nd Edition)

and Bronwyn's audio cassette, Taking Back The Power

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