Amy had always worried about things a lot, but had never let it get to the point where it impacted her life too much. But then, seemingly out of nowhere, she began experiencing panic attacks . She would go through episodes where her heart would start to race rapidly and she would feel dizzy. If it got really bad, she would have trouble breathing and felt like she couldn’t get enough air.
This all brought on an overwhelming sense of dread that something terrible was about to happen. She worried that an attack could make her pass out, or maybe even kill her.
Amy became so afraid of the panic attacks that they took over her life.
Whenever she had an attack, she felt like she had to stop whatever she was doing and get out of the situation. If she was driving, she’d have to pull over. If she was at the grocery store, she’d have to leave immediately to avoid having an attack. Eventually, she started to just avoid places where it would be hard to escape if she had an attack. She stopped going out to restaurants and other crowded places.
Amy was anxious all the time, living in constant fear of the panic attacks. They were ruining her life because she was no longer able to drive, she stopped spending time with friends, refused to fly to visit her daughters at college, and often made excuses at work to get out of having to attend meetings.
Worst of all, the panic attacks made no sense to her. They seemed to happen so randomly and unpredictably that she became terrified all the time because she was afraid that another attack was right around the corner.
Amy was confused about her symptoms and worried that there might be something medically wrong with her.
She went to the doctor several times and even went to the Emergency Room after a particularly bad attack. But every time, the doctors would run some tests and tell her she was perfectly healthy. This just led to even more confusion, because she could not understand why she kept feeling this way if there was nothing wrong with her.
One of Amy’ doctors suggested that it might be anxiety, and sent her to see me (Dr. Sinclair) for help.
After several counseling sessions, Amy’s panic attacks stopped.
Amy was so relieved to finally understand her panic attacks and know what to do about them. She successfully implemented the strategies I showed her and was amazed at how well they worked.
Amy started to get back to living her life like she had before the attacks started. She was able to drive calmly again. She began meeting friends for lunch and even led a meeting at work, something she would have previously thought impossible.
Finally, Amy stopped having panic attacks and got back to living her full, normal life, free from the crippling anxiety. She was grateful for my help and felt excited and relieved to be enjoying things like she used to. She finally felt like herself again.
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