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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Hi...Ive been waking up in the middle OKPR531211

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Hi...I've been waking up in the middle of the night with my heart pounding, difficult getting a deep breath and lots of fear/scarey thoughts. I went through this a few years ago and the doc said it was panic attacks and prescribled propranolol. Can you advise?Thanks

Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

When you are anxious, your thoughts are causing your mind to think your in danger. Your body reacts by releasing adrenaline into your system. Adrenaline cause you to feel the body symptoms that are common with anxiety. It is much like after you have had a bad scare except with anxiety, there is no focus. The only thing you have to focus on is how you feel. And because your thoughts are probably always on alert, so is your body. This may be why you always feel anxious and scared.

The good news is that anxiety is easy to treat with therapy. In therapy, you learn to pay attention to what you are thinking to make yourself anxious. The therapist then can help you change your thoughts and therefore how your body reacts to your thoughts. You also can learn about how to let yourself float through your anxiety thereby gaining more control over how you feel. When anxiety comes on, you allow it to flow over you without tensing or panicking in response. This makes the anxiety reduce or go away faster. To find a therapist, talk to your doctor about a referral. Or you can search on line at Therapists and/or psychiatrists are better practitioners to treat your anxiety because of the training and experience in diagnosis and treatment. That way, you get an accurate diagnosis and a solid treatment plan to best help you overcome your anxiety rather than just medication.

Medications are helpful to ease the symptoms but they vary in their effectiveness. Each person has their own body chemistry and what works for one may not work for another. Also, once you take medication for a while, your body becomes accustomed to it and you either need an increase in dosage or you need to try a new medication. But medications can help to reduce your symptoms quickly so you can work on overcoming your fears.

Here is a guide on Anxiety medications:

You can also help yourself at home. There are numerous resources to help you learn more about anxiety. Here are some to get you started:

The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook by Edmund Bourne is excellent for any fears. It is self help and contains everything from supplements to relaxation techniques.

The Cognitive Behavioral Workbook for Anxiety: A Step-by-Step Program by Bill Knaus Ed.D. and Jon Carlson Psy.D. Ed.D.

From Panic to Power: Proven Techniques to Calm Your Anxieties, Conquer Your Fears, and Put You in Control of Your Life by Lucinda Bassett

You can find these books on or your local library may have them for you.

I hope this has helped you,
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