Ask a Psychiatrist and Get Answers to Mental Health Questions ASAP
Good morning and welcome to JA.
Please understand that it is both unethical and unprofessional to diagnose 3rd party over the internet. However... you mention that your daughter may be suffering from PANIC ATTACKS.
This, coupled with her other behaviors, suggests some profound problems with anxiety.
The degree, nature, and duration of her condition suggests that it is more than could typically be handled by having a talk with her - or even by speaking with her general doctor.
I would strongly recommend that you consider exploring the treatment protocol used to address anxiety disorders in general. In terms of medication, many psychiatrists recommend the use of a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI). This has been found to helpful with a number of people who suffer from panic attacks and other forms of anxiety.
But over 30 years of research has demonstrated that medication PLUS a very specific form of treatment (called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) provided by a trained Mental Health Professional (MHP)) is the most effective. In some cases, CBT has been found to be *more* effective than medication alone <or> medication plus treatment.
CBT seeks to change the thoughts (cognitions) and action (behaviors) of individuals who have learned a false set of relationships between certain behaviors and certain perceived outcomes. For those suffering from anxiety problems, including panic attacks, people believe that they must behave in a particular fashion in order to avoid feeling badly or even dying. Providing CBT will help to "unlearn" those kinds of false beliefs, and provide a series of specific/focused strategies to employ when the individual begins to feel anxious again.
The treatment is not like the old-fashioned "talk therapy" with which you might be familiar. In fact, research has shown that this kind of therapy tends to keep the client/patient stuck "ruminating" on old problems or issues or false beliefs that "keep them stuck." CBT is very focused and targeted at alleviating the false beliefs and actions that keep people stuck. That's why it will be very important to ask your future MHP if s/he has training in CBT and has used it with clients in the past.
Given the nature of your daughter's unhealthy over-attachment to the family right now, you would all likely benefit from family-based CBT. This will help the family as a whole support your daughter as she begins to make changes in her thinking and acting... and provide you all with strategies to help support one another as you make this change. Remember that - although your daughter is identified as the patient in this case - the family as a whole has likely been behaving in a particular way that supports your daughter's behavior for some time. Helping the family change and communicate will help your daughter to change!
I would strongly urge you to speak with your doctor/her doctor about a referral to a MHP who can implement CBT. In the event that your daughter also needs medication, your general doctor can prescribe an SSRI - but referring to a psychiatrist might be warranted. In terms of MHPs to provide CBT, most often a doctoral level psychologist is best - but anyone with proper training can administer the treatment(s). If you're having difficulty locating a CBT in Ireland (and you shouldn't), you might check with your local college or university (ask the Psychology Department) for local practitioners. You could also check:
I hope that this has been helpful information for you and your daughter. Please understand - although things seem pretty "scary" right now, anxiety disorders are among the most treatable forms of mental health problems an individual can face. With the proper treatment (and possibly medication), this can be overcome!
I hope this has been helpful. I wish you and your entire family the best of luck. Please click <ACCEPT.>