How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask KansasTherapist Your Own Question

KansasTherapist
KansasTherapist, LSCSW
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 566
Experience:  17 years experience with depression, abuse, and borderline.
65252638
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
KansasTherapist is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I am having very bad panic attacks. I went to see my doctor.

This answer was rated:

I am having very bad panic attacks. I went to see my doctor. I started on prozac and he gave me xanax today. I can't get one thought out of my mind and it scares me into panic. I can't fall asleep, I can't eat. What can I do to stop this thought. I am 18 years old and live at home. My parents know I am doing this and will pay.

KansasTherapist : Hello
KansasTherapist : There is a technique that can work for people who have a thought stuck in their head.
KansasTherapist : It's called thought stopping.
KansasTherapist : You begin by making a list of positive thoughts you can use to replace the negative one.
KansasTherapist : When you have the negitive thought to tell yourself STOP.
KansasTherapist : Immediately use one of the thoughts on your list. As you use this technique, it becomes easier to stop the negative thoughts right away and slip into the positive.
Customer:

What sort of positive thoughts should I put on this list?

KansasTherapist : What is the scary thought you're stuck on?
Customer:

It is the fear of eternity after death.

KansasTherapist : Like afraid you're going to hell?
Customer:

No, not that. Just the idea of something never ending

KansasTherapist : I would focus on the here and now. Put all your energy into what you're doing in the moment.
Customer:

Ok. I have sort of tried that, but the thought seems to keep coming into my head.

KansasTherapist : It's okay if it comes back, but use the stop. Or you could picture a big red button with the word stop. Hit the button, in your mind yell stop, and refocus.
KansasTherapist : It kind of the same as having a song stuck in your head.
Customer:

Ok, so I should make a list of positive thoughts to counteract the negative ones?

KansasTherapist : You can," like it's okay to be in the present."
KansasTherapist : Something else that could help is to watch a funny movie or a comedian. Anything that will get you really laughing. It releases chemicals that improve your mood.
Customer:

I've tried to do that but I can't seem to concentrate on anything except the thought. It's very difficult for me to get it out of my head

Customer:

The one thing that truly seems to help is to just talk to someone.

KansasTherapist : Don't be freaked out when the thought comes back. Know that you will have to stop it a bunch of times. As long as you keep trying, it will get better.
Customer:

So in order to stop the negative thought I need to try and focus on a positive thought? And the more I do this the easier it will be for me to block out the negative thought?

KansasTherapist : Yes.
Customer:

What sort of positive thoughts should I put on this list?

KansasTherapist : Instead of the positive thought you could focus on what you're doing in the moment. If you're not doing anything, find something to do.
KansasTherapist : It's okay to be in the moment. I only exist in the present. I have the support of my family.
Customer:

Okay. So I just need to focus on the here and the now and that will help get the negative thoughts out of my mind?

KansasTherapist : Yes, it should help it go away or at the very least not be so scary.
Customer:

What about any breathing techniques that I could use to try and calm myself down?

KansasTherapist : If you like you could do some meditation breathing. There's a web site I like that teaches mediation, wildmind.org
Customer:

I will check it out. So when I start to have the negative thought I need to tell myself to STOP and then need to try and focus on one of the positive thoughts on my list that I will make? And also could do some breathing techniques

KansasTherapist : Yes
Customer:

Okay. Thank you very much. Are there any other techniques that I could use to help relieve anxiety when it sets in that you believe would help? Or do you believe the positive list method works the best?

KansasTherapist : Ifnyou can learn to practice meditation it could help a lot. It is, at the core, learning to control your thoughts.
Customer:

Which I could learn from that wildmind.org website?

KansasTherapist : Yes
Customer:

I have been reading up on panic attacks and I have found that many people suffer from anxiety and panic attacks due to nervous thoughts. Is this common for people who suffer from panic attacks/disorder?

KansasTherapist : It is one of the most common reasons for people to become disabled in this country.
KansasTherapist : It's the second most common mental illness after depression.
Customer:

So through a combination of medication and seeing a counselor, along with the positive thoughts method, I should be able to overcome these panic attacks/ anxiety? Because recently they have become very disabling.

KansasTherapist : Yes, you should start seeing improvement soon.
KansasTherapist : I have a client to see in few minutes so I should go. I hope thing improve for you.
KansasTherapist and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

Related Mental Health Questions