The Panic Away Program is a well-known self-help treatment program, developed by Barry McDonagh. He originally put the program together whilst studying at college.
But does the program actually work? I asked myself the very same question around 2 years ago.
The program is pretty controversial since it challenges firmly held beliefs and effectively turns them on their head.
For instance, many experts believe that the best way to prevent having a panic or anxiety attack is to keep the subject calm, and not to produce any more stress to that person than they are already experiencing. This is not the Panic Away mindset!
Who is the Panic Away treatment program aimed at?
It is primarily used to treat panic and anxiety-related disorders. These could be caused by a number of factors from a phobia to a fear of a social situation. We are complex creatures and react to our environment in a variety of different ways. A fairly mundane event to one person can be an extremely stressful occasion to someone else.
So what makes it so different?
Their approach is quite simple but at the same time pretty radical.
They believe that by stimulating the body to experience more stress (albeit in a controlled way) that the body will eventually start to respond and react differently when real stressful situations occur. In other words, the subject is encouraged to feel more stressful during the treatment process!
When the body feels stressed, it produces adrenaline, which in turn causes the heart to beat more rapidly. Once this adrenaline has been depleted then the body moves naturally to a relaxation phase, at which point the attack subsides.
Using a series of exercises, the subject is able to both recognize and control their own responses to a series of stressful situations. This instills a new confidence in them and enables them to ultimately not only alleviate the symptoms but to banish them from their lives forever. They effectively learn that these attacks are not harmful in themselves and that they can be conquered.
Is it right for you?
My answer is it depends. It certainly worked for me and cured my anxiety disorders. But I am a very visual person and I need to have practical exercises that I can follow in order for it to be effective.
Some may benefit from using self-help books, whilst others may respond better to one-on-one therapy or even hypnotherapy.
It’s also worth finding out from your doctor whether there are any underlying chemical or hormonal factors causing or exacerbating your symptoms.
Whatever you decide, it’s time to declare war on your condition!
Wishing you all the very best,