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Dr. Olsen
Dr. Olsen, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2336
Experience:  PsyD Psychologist
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my mother is having fear and panic which makes her feel like

Customer Question

my mother is having fear and panic which makes her feel like her nerves are coming out of her body. What does she need to do. Please help
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Olsen replied 5 years ago.
Hello. Welcome to JustAnswer. I am sorry to hear about your mother's situation. Let me ask you a question before I offer an answer. Does she have any medical condition?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

had tyroid removed ten years ago and takes tyroid medication.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
thyroid level was checked last week to be normal
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
worst time is when she wakes up.
Expert:  Dr. Olsen replied 5 years ago.
Hi, Let me say I can imagine how worried, anxious and sad you must have been about this situation. It sounds like your mother has signs of mood disorder - anxiety and panic attacks. Perhaps, she may have been under some stress lately. She may benefit from having a Cognitive-Behavior therapy (CBT). CBT is a most effective therapy for anxiety and depression. CBT for anxiety consists of Self-Monitoring, Relaxation strategies, Exposure treatments, Cognitive therapy. A combination of psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy are considered to be effective to treat Anxiety and fear. If her symptoms are unbearable, she may need to see a psychiatrist (M.D.) for medication evaluation and prescription.

She may ask her doctor for a psychologist/psychotherapist that she can work with weekly. Or she may call her insurance company and get a list of providers in her area. Or, you can search a licensed psychologist on internet- such as the PSYCHOLOGY TODAY website. Go to ( and enter your zip code and optional category of specialty such as Anxiety. Read psychotherapists’ profile to see if he or she specializes in Cognitive-behavior therapy and Anxiety. You may also want to create your mental image of psychotherapist that she wants to work with – Male or female? To note, many therapists offer initial consultation for free. So she can see it as an informational meeting. She can ask any question and negotiate psychotherapy fee. If she seeks a low fee counseling, she or you may call The United Way toll free # XXXXX to find the community mental health centers in her area in which she can get counseling even without health insurance. Additionally, she may benefit from having a support group for adults with anxiety in her area. To find a group therapy or a support group for herself, contact a local hospital or a clinic by asking if they offer a group for people with anxiety. If you want to find a support group online, check Mental Health America website section ( - Find a group in your area. If her anxiety and panic attacks worsen for next one month, she may see a psychiatrist (M.D.) who specializes in Geriatric Psychiatry and Anxiety for her to get medication evaluation. To find a Geriatric psychiatrist in her area, please contact AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR GERIATRIC PSYCHIATRY ( 1050 Bethesda, MD(NNN) [email protected] You may also encourage her to try some or all of the following to improve her memory, attention and mood - 1. Exercise moderately, but regularly, 2. Eat healthy but delicious meals, 3. Regularize her sleep cycle, 4. Don't drink to excess or abuse drugs, 5. Spend some time every day in play, 6. Develop recreational outlets that encourage creativity, 7. Distance herself from destructive situations or people, 8. Practice mindfulness meditation, or walk, or an intimate talk, every day, 9. Allow herself to feel pride in your accomplishments, 10, Listen to compliments and expression of affection, 11. Build and use a support system, 12. Pay more attention to small pleasures and sensations, 13. Avoid unstructured time, 14. Yoga, meditation, Acupuncture, Guided imagery, massage therapy, and Creative art therapy may be helpful. Additionally, Biofeedback may work for her stress and depression. Biofeedback is a self-control technique since it involves having a client to learn to modify his or her own behaviors and is based, like many other self-control procedures, on the principle of operant conditioning. The biofeedback may work for anxiety and physical pain. Please contact - The association for Psychophysiology and Biofeedback ( for resources and to find a provider in your area. I hope your mother gets help and support from her doctor, a psychologist, a geriatric specialist, family and friends. Please let me know if I have overlooked any or you have more questions. Warm regards,

Edited by Dr. Olsen on 1/1/2011 at 1:49 AM EST
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
one more thank you so much. she is so scared she's going crazy how do i let her know this can be fixed,again thank you so much
Expert:  Dr. Olsen replied 5 years ago.
Hi, Thanks for your response. Perhaps, you may explain to her that she has anxiety and panic attacks. But she gets better with treatment. She is not going die. Also, you may take her to an emergency room of a local hospital if her symptoms are unbearable. Please let me know if you have more questions. Warm regards,
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
thank you

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