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Can Anxiety Disorder and Panic Attacks Be Cured?

by Mike Nichols on July 10, 2008 · 126 comments

Due to the many, many comments on this post, I have written a follow-up, Can Anxiety Disorder and Panic Attacks Be Cured? Yes! No!. Please read it!

 

snake oil sm Can Anxiety Disorder and Panic Attacks Be Cured?

Just type “anxiety cure” into Google – you will come up with 343,000 hits. Typing in “panic attack cure” gets you 782,000 hits. The top of Google’s search results and the sidebar will be filled with advertisements for “cures” for Anxiety Disorder and panic attacks.

These “cures” claim to make Anxiety Disorder and panic attacks go away for good in much in the same way they might offer to cure hookworm. A cure by definition is an elimination of a disease and its symptoms. These companys’ advertisements imply that the sufferer is never going to have symptoms again, that once they have gone through their regimen, Anxiety Disorder and panic attacks will be gone permanently.

Anxiety and panic attack sufferers are desperate people, and I fear that too many of them are taken in by such dangerous claims.

These highly-advertised “cures” reek of snake oil to me.

Please do not think I’m being negative, or trying to dash your hopes for some sort of relief from Anxiety Disorder and panic attacks. 

I am just being realistic. I firmly believe that a permanent “cure” for Anxiety Disorder and panic attacks is impossible. I am not saying that their symptoms cannot be controlled and managed successfully. I am not saying that you cannot reclaim your life and function normally. I am saying that the physical conditions that cause Anxiety Disorder and panic attacks will always be with you. 

And I am saying that a constant awareness of this fact will help you lead a happier, more successful life.

I read more and more each day of scientific research showing that, like depression or diabetes, there are definite physical anomalies in the body and brain associated with Anxiety Disorder and panic attacks. And physical anomalies do not go away. They cannot be “cured.” 

For example, just a few days ago I posted a report of a study that found evidence showing that sufferers of Social Anxiety Disorder have an abnormality in the brain’s dopaminergic system that can cause the condition. And every one of the informational references for Anxiety Disorders listed in the left column of this this blog cites numerous physical causes of each Anxiety Disorder and for panic attacks. 

If the brain of an Anxiety Disorder or panic sufferer has physical abnormalities that contribute to her mental illness, then her Anxiety or panic attacks can never be “cured,” plain and simple. She can learn coping strategies to manage the symptoms. She can control the symptoms to the extent that they have minimal impact on her life. But that physical abnormality will never simply go away.

I object strenuously to, and regard as cynical hype, claims that Anxiety Disorder and panic attacks can be cured. It not only is wrong, wrong, wrong, but it raises false hopes in the Anxiety or panic attack sufferer. It implies an inoculation, something like a smallpox vaccination. 

It replaces the very real hope of Anxiety Disorder and panic attack control and management with an unrealistic expectation that it can be banished permanently.

Even if the “cure” works for a while, what happens when, later on, one suffers a serious setback? Does that mean that one is “un-cured?” Unfortunately, most would see such an un-curing as a personal failure, just another instance of weakness of character. In my opinion, this would make the situation worse than it was in the first place! 

And are these “permanent cures” permanent enough to give the sufferer the tools to build their lives again? I rather doubt it.

How many of us have had our hopes crushed by a relapse after what we hoped and prayed was a just such a permanent cure? Did the help you received give you the emotional and practical tools to rebuild your life again? I’m afraid most of these loudly trumpeted quick fix-it’s being advertised will do nothing of the sort. 

It may be true that these “cures” may seem to give you relief for a while, as likely from a placebo effect as any real, lasting help. 

However, any reputable practitioner, whether a layperson or a licensed mental health care professional, will never say that they are “curing” you of Anxiety Disorder or panic attacks. They will tell you they are giving you the coping tools to manage and control your symptoms on a long-term basis.

I believe a far, far better and more realistic attitude is to regard Anxiety Disorder and panic attacks as a permanent, physical state that can be managed effectively with a combination of a healthy lifestyle, professional counselling and medication.

It can be controlled, and controlled to the point that the former sufferer has few if any of their formerly disabling symptoms. You can regain your functionality and live a successful, normal life.

Do not be duped by these snake-oil salesmen! You know that reputable mental health care professionals can give you reliable, long term relief from your symptoms. Do not waste your money, your hopes, your emotional well-being, or your mental health on anything less!

Have you tried any of these “cures?” Have they been successful? For how long? What do you think?

What can you do now?

Your comments are always welcome, and are important to this blog’s community! Leave a comment now.

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{ 120 comments… read them below or add one }

Angel May 17, 2013 at 8:25 am

I’m Angel, I had anxiety f0r 2years

Reply

Brian June 7, 2013 at 9:53 pm

None of this is true! Panic attacks can be cured. I’ve done it!

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veli July 9, 2013 at 7:57 am

Brian and ST, how? Please let me know.

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Giorgia September 17, 2013 at 12:56 pm

Please Bryan let us know . I have been having them for 9 months. Some days are better then others. But I have faith that one day I will be free of anxiety

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Veli October 3, 2013 at 3:41 am

A few months back I was so done with having panic attacks I did not know what to do. I finally found help. Neil Sideman is amazing!He has helped me on my way to overcome my panic! He can be found on panic cure dot com. This disorder can be very scary to understand, but Neal makes it make sense. I told him that I would recommend him to anyone that needs his help. Let him know that Veli sent you. He is looking to help others. I am a real person who received his help. I know the desperation. I hope that he can help you like he helped me.

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st June 8, 2013 at 5:55 am

it certainly can be cured..suffered severe anxiety n panic attack for 2 years,and now i am totaly normal n calmer than before :)

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mohamed July 21, 2013 at 5:33 pm

how did u manage that please e-mail me back i could really ise some help ?

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Mike Nichols June 19, 2013 at 2:51 pm

Please Note!

Due to the many, many comments on this post, I have written a follow-up, Can Anxiety Disorder and Panic Attacks Be Cured? Yes! No!. Please read it!

Reply

St July 21, 2013 at 5:39 pm

Hi you can email me at r9crew@gmail.com

Reply

Bill August 27, 2013 at 12:13 pm

Please show me how. I’m diagnosed with anxiety disorder and I have a burning flare on all my body that’s driving me crazy and unworthy of living. Has somebody had this symptom? How did you cured yourself?

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Veli August 27, 2013 at 12:38 pm

Bill do you have a fb or E-mail?

Reply

Veli August 27, 2013 at 12:31 pm

Bill, do you have a fb or e- mail?

Reply

St August 30, 2013 at 1:12 am

Symptoms are there to stay because u pay too much attention to it and it will remains,u let it float n past over time ur body will calm down and symtoms will slowly fade away

Reply

panic disorder December 18, 2013 at 11:14 am

Thanks for finally writing about >Can Anxiety Disorder and Panic Attacks Be Cured?
— Anxiety, Panic & Health <Liked it!
panic disorder´s last blog post ..panic disorder

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hhghg December 21, 2013 at 9:00 pm

honestly posts like these for people with anxiety or panic attacks dont help at all, first off to say that anxiety disorders and panic attacks are permanent because of slight brain disorder is pure ignorance, i believe the brain can reinforce it self and strengthen itself against anxiety and fear once you are out the other end of this if anyone is on here looking for help and positive stories i highly suggest you stop, the majority of people who love to tell everyone how long they have suffered like to complain about there anxiety/panic/situation instead of doing anything about it, i know anxiety problems are 100% curable , thats a scientific fact its rare to ever hear of someone relapsing you can change your mind, DO NOT let these people steal your cure you dont have to go through life being a victim

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phobias February 21, 2014 at 6:01 pm

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phobias´s last blog post ..phobias

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