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Norman M.
Norman M., Principal psychotherapist in private practice. Newspaper contributor, over 2000 satisfied clients on JA
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2568
Experience:  ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), ECP, UKCP Registered.
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What can I do at the moment to help with my panick attack

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What can I do at the moment to help with my panick attack and worry of hurting my loved ones from my ocd? My ocd has gotten really bad lately. I've even considered commiting suicide today because of my fear and guilt/shame. I love these people but I have thoughts that sometimes feel like urges but I try to talk myself out of them since I know this isn't who I am. I am disgusted with my self. Which then isends me into a cycle of depression and anxiety. And knowing I am bipolar doesn't help. I haven't seen a doctor yet. I had two panic attacks today for the first time. I had one after excersing and one after meditating in a warm bath. (I'm not sure if that matters)
Any help is greatly appreciated.

It sounds as if you are suffering from mixed anxiety and depression - depression is causing you to feel bad, and the other part is that your negative thinking about your life situation is just adding to that.

Both these things can be dealt with by a combination of proper medication and a course of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. It is a form of therapy that addresses problems in a direct and targeted way and is brief compared with most other therapies.

The panic attacks you have been suffering are part of this bigger picture, and you really do need to see your Doc as soon as possible.

Right now, though there are some quite effective things you can do to help with your panic attacks. They very first thing is to realize, that nothing nasty is going to happen to you – the attack will pass (they usually do in at most thirty minutes). Remember that any time you have had a panic attack, you have come out of it quite safely. Go with it, don’t fight it, remember it will pass and you will take away much of its power to scare you.

Secondly, learn to control your breathing. Take very slow deep breaths in through your nose for a count of four and out through your mouth for a count of four. Focus on the outward breath, making sure you force all the ‘used’ air out. That will make your inward breath much more effective. Some people find breathing in and out of a paper (NOT PLASTIC) bag for ten minutes helps.

Of course, you also see your Doctor – he will give you a full diagnosis and if appropriate, start your on a suitable anti-depressant medication. He will also want to rule out any physical cause of what you is experiencing.

Depression is seen as a chemical imbalance in the brain, just as diabetes is a chemical imbalance in the body. Diabetics take medication to stay well, why shouldn’t you?

Don’t be afraid of taking medication – it could really help turn your whole life around

Two important issues about this - when you is on medication, you must take it at the correct dose and as prescribed. It is no use missing doses or messing around with the dose.

Secondly, you should know that anti-depressants can take up to 8 weeks from the start of therapy before they begin to show beneficial effects, so it's no use quitting after two weeks.

I mentioned CBT - is based on the fact that what we think in any given situation generates beliefs about, and reactions to that situation, and also cause the behaviour and feelings which flow from those beliefs and reactions.

These ‘automatic thoughts’ are so fast that generally, we are unaware that we have even had them. We call them ANTS (automatic negative thoughts) for short.

If the pattern of thinking we use, or our beliefs about our situation are even slightly distorted, the resulting emotions and actions that flow from them can be extremely negative and unhelpful. The object of CBT is to identify these ‘automatic thoughts’ then to re-adjust our thoughts and beliefs so that they are entirely realistic and correspond to the realities of our lives, and that therefore, the resulting emotions, feelings and actions we have will be more useful and helpful.

Cognitive therapists do not usually interpret or seek for unconscious motivations but bring cognitions and beliefs into the current focus of attention and through guided discovery encourage clients to gently re-evaluate their thinking.

Therapy is not seen as something “done to” the client. CBT is not about trying to prove a client wrong and the therapist right, or getting into unhelpful debates. Through collaboration, questioning and re-evaluating their views, clients come to see for themselves that there are alternatives and that they can change.

Clients try things out in between therapy sessions, putting what has been learned into practice, learning how therapy translates into real life improvement.

Please visit this website for much more detailed information on CBT:

If you cannot afford to see a therapist, there are good free CBT based self-help resources here:

Make the first step NOW – get an appointment with your Doc, and you can start to get better.

You’ll also find some very good help here:

Best wishes, NormanM

Norman M. and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you