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cbt and panic attacks

1110 Views 9 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  terri*
I have a question that I've asked a few times on here before but I I'm having the same conundrum again. I have textbook panic disorder. I'm scared of having panic attacks and going crazy and usually what causes my panic attacks now is derealization. Originally I guess stress caused them. Now the cycle is stress, then derealization, then panic. So, I've started cbt. And it is helping a LOT. I'm learning to quit obsessing and how to deal with my worries.
The problem is, my therapist wants the next time I have a panic attack for me to just find a chair or something, sit there and let the panic happen. Don't try to distract myself. He wants me to feel the fear and realize that nothing terrible is going to happen as a result of my panic attack. But this goes against everything I have learned on this board. Everyone here seems to say distraction is the key to dealing with derealization. Don't think about it. But if I keep distracting myself, I'm never gonna get over my fear of panic attacks. The derealization is better but I still live a life scared of the next incident. So basically I have no idea what I should do. Fight or flight? It's driving me crazy because I don't know which direction to go in. ANY responses would be greatly appreciated. Thanks everyone.
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When I was having panic attacks, I would tell my brother I felt as if I was going to pass out. He told just to go with it, that maybe I would like it better in the next world, if that was in fact where I went. I thought he was crazy and, truth be, it pissed me off.

What ended up happening is that I would go and sit in a chair when the spinning first started, and as the waves of anxiety washed over me, I kept breathing in a counted measure and finally learned how to let it happen. In time I learned how to realize when one was coming, just as people with migraines usually can feel their symptoms coming on.

I am hoping what the therapist is recommending will work for you and your panic attacks will come to an end. It is a relief to realize YOU are the one who has the POWER over them. Really, you do. :)

Best of luck to you.
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