Who Suffers with Anxiety and Panic Attacks?
The National Institute of Mental Health reports that an estimated 31.1% of U.S. adults experience an anxiety disorder at some time in their lives. In fact, anxiety related disorders are the most common emotional illness in America, surpassing even depression in numbers. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America reports that 18.1% of Americans are currently suffering from an anxiety disorder. With anxiety disorders, there is a gender gap as well. Women suffer from anxiety attacks almost twice as much as men.
However, you are not doomed to an anxiety-ridden life. We can help you. Most of us are encouraged to see an anxiety attack as something that happens to us. In many cases, medication is recommended. (And people have reported that medication has provided relief.) Unfortunately, these factors often leave many of us feeling like victims, living in fear of the next anxiety attack. We can offer you what could be a life-changing alternative. If you are looking for an attitudinal, rather than a medication-based, approach, read on.
How the Option Institute Can Help
We have seen time and again that being able to overcome anxiety and panic is not actually the result of circumstances, or even necessarily of biology. Each moment of anxiety is fueled by a particular set of beliefs that we engage. When we hold certain perspectives, and, in essence, send ourselves particular messages (“I can’t do this,” “Something bad will happen to me,” “Everything is out of control,” “I’m trapped”), we precipitate panic attacks or generalized anxiety.
The important thing is: we send ourselves these messages for a reason (as a way to take care of ourselves).
We can offer you a way toward overcoming anxiety. Instead of trying to help you suppress your symptoms, we address the cause of your symptoms. We can help you uncover the messages you send yourself, and examine the anxiety-causing beliefs that you hold. Then, with the tools we will provide for you, you can plot a new course, change the way you think, and, potentially, give yourself the opportunity to overcome anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and/or panic attacks.
I came to the Option Institute with a past history of abuse, abandonment, and a great deal of past judgments. I came fully armed with my usual self-protective mechanisms that I had finely tuned over 52 years. Without anxiety, fear, trepidation, or regret, I left them outside the door at the beginning of the second class. That was the first time in my life that I ever knew I could choose differently. I chose happiness and it only took me 2 ½ hours after 52 years of pain. Thank you!
Seven years ago, in the midst of leading an extremely active life – a life that included traveling, rigorous dance training, and a full-time commitment to my writing – I developed what the doctors and the media called ‘panic attacks’. The symptoms of these attacks were considered classic, but to me they never seemed classic at all; all of it seemed unique and freakish – not being able to swallow at times, the frequent dizzy spells, a heart that raced so fast I couldn’t breathe. Before I went to The Option Institute, I believed what the experts had told me – that this was a condition I would probably always have and that tranquilizers would be the best treatment. Based on this belief, I stopped traveling and dancing for fear that too much activity would increase my heart rate, and that this would feel like – or bring on – a panic attack. READ MORE
A psychologist had once told me that it would take time – even years – before the cause of the attacks could be uncovered and released. But, after just one session at The Institute – a session that, in fact, did not have a psychological approach, or more focus on much of my history – I felt more of a ‘release’ than I had felt in years. Through a series of questions that gave me an opportunity to change my beliefs about my fears, and this ‘condition’ – I started to see changes in my physiology. My panic attacks were coming on less and less and, after continuing with dialogue sessions, I was able to stop using medication. The finale, for me, came after I participated in a one-week program at the Institute called ReNEW YOU. That week was filled with exercises, lectures, and dialogues – all of which focused on love, acceptance, and the pursuit of happiness. Since that time, I have not had one panic attack. I am traveling again, taking exercise classes, and am able to write with more focus and ease, all because the Institute has helped me to put my faith in love and find the peace that comes from faith. These are God’s principles, and whether or not you believe in God, these principles are at the heart of freedom. My gratitude to Barry and Samahria Kaufman and The Option Institute Staff is enormous.
Freelance Writer, California