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LeahMSWuofm, Clinical Social Worker
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 619
Experience:  10 years post-MSW experience
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I was recently attacked brutally and am now suffering very

Customer Question

I was recently attacked brutally and am now suffering very intense panic attacks that are ruining my already distressed life
JA: How long have you been dealing with this? Is there anything in particular that seems to make the symptoms better or worse?
Customer: I've had anxiety for 15 years and was taking Valium prior to help ease it and treat muscle spasms I have from a car accident injury. But my primary care doctor moved shortly after my attack and I've been unable to replace him. Mainly because just getting out the door putting me into such a bad panic attack I stay inside. They never caught my attacker so I always feel like they are still out there waiting
JA: Anything else in your medical history you think the psychologist should know?
Customer: Just a history of anxiety and panic attacks now greatly worsened by a traumatic event.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  LeahMSWuofm replied 11 months ago.

Hi, thanks for writing to us. My name is ***** ***** I'd like to help. I absolutely understand how fearful and distressed you are feeling. I am very sorry that you were the victim of an attack as well as that your history of anxiety has made this even harder to manage.

It sounds like you may be suffering from some PTSD because of your attack. I believe this is a possibility given the fact that you are avoiding leaving your house and are having intense panic attacks stemming from fear. PTSD warrants treatment by a mental health professional trained in trauma and will likely include some medications as well as counseling. Due to the severity of your anxiety and how much it is interfering with your life, I strongly encourage you to seek out a psychiatrist and a counselor. Because psychiatrists often have long wait-lists, looking for a mental health practice that includes counseling and has a psychiatrist as a team member to assist with medications, could expedite your care.

In the meantime, you can attempt to do some anti-anxiety practices that can help you keep as calm as possible. If you have a history of anxiety, perhaps you have some go-to practices for helping yourself get through panic attacks. Some helpful strategies are patterned and controlled breathing, mindfulness, meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, and exercise. You may also wish to establish a "worry window" which is a specific time of the day when all you do is purge your fears. Once that designated time period ends, get up and do something different. When you find the worries creeping back in, remind yourself that your worrying for the day has been competed and you will revisit the anxieties again during your scheduled time tomorrow.

One last thing to remember is that panic attacks, while they feel absolutely awful, are not dangerous. If you do find yourself having one, remember that it will pass. A typical panic attack usually lasts somewhere around 15 minutes, so if you feel one taking hold, remind yourself that you are safe, and that you can ride it out and will be okay.

Please let me know if you need help locating a professional to help you get this PTSD treated. One place I always start in my search for mental health professionals including psychiatrists is here...

Have hope and faith that with the right support, you can get through this and get your life back. Get started locating help in your community today so your recovery can get started asap.



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