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, LSCSW
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 566
Experience:  17 years experience with depression, abuse, and borderline.
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.

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

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

It is the fear of eternity after death.

KansasTherapist : Like afraid you're going to hell?

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.

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.

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.

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


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.

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.

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.

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.

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,

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

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.

Which I could learn from that website?

KansasTherapist : Yes

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.

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