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Can Anxiety Disorder and Panic Attacks Be Cured?

by Mike · 130 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

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?

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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

BBB April 22, 2013 at 12:26 am

OMG..this article was so touching. I am suffering form anxiety for so long now and I came though this article while just reading about anxiety. I feel like I knew what to expect from this problem. I knew this problem will never be cure and I hope I live a happier life in the future.


Paul April 29, 2013 at 1:45 pm

From my experience of 14 years dealing with anxiety and depression i feel it comes down to my stress response/HPA Axis becoming overactive/overwhelmed.

Can the Stress response/HPA Axis be slowed down/regulated over time as i feel mine has been physically altered ?


Sid May 2, 2013 at 3:12 pm

I can’t believe the arrogance of this article. Here he is, expounding like he has done peer-reviewed scientific studies which have been confirmed by other such studies. Nothing even close to this has been done by him.

His “logic” is that if you have an anomaly in your brain, you have to live with that forever. But the brain is a remarkably flexible organ.

And if an anomaly has happened it can un-happen. Diseases are curable. Don’t let this article discourage you.

Of course, if you keep thinking that you will never get cured — then that is exactly what will happen. It will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. And vice-versa!

Good luck to all and please search and read authoritative and highly credible sites before you believe anyone.


Mike Nichols May 7, 2013 at 11:42 am

You’re right that I am not formally trained as a mental health care professional. I have done no scientific experiments, nor have I written peer-reviewed articles. However, Anxiety, Panic & Health is certified by the Health on the Net Foundation, an arm of the World Health Organization. Only 8,500 sites are certified worldwide, including the Mayo Clinic and the National Institute of Mental Health.

And over the decades I have read literally hundreds of peer-reviewed medical articles, studies and reports on mental health and keep up with the literature better than many mental health care professionals (as my psychologist admits). Almost to a person, these writings hold that mental health disorders are permanent conditions.

It’s my contention that those that say that anxiety can be “cured” are just selling you snake oil. A “cure” implies that a condition is permanently eliminated. Anxiety, however, cannot be “cured” because it is built into your genes and the environmental conditions of your earlier years.

However, anxiety can be managed, and managed well so that, though you have the occasional symptom, you know how to handle it before it disrupts your life.

I base my opinion on the fact that mental disorders arise from both environmental and genetic causes. You may resolve bad experiences in your life so that they no longer bother you, but you cannot change your genetics, which give you a tendency toward reacting to new experiences by a flare up of your anxiety disorder.

But all is not lost. You can learn effective coping skills so that you can handle those new experiences in a healthy way so that they don’t build into anxiety. Although I have a propensity to panic attacks, I have not had one in years, because I know how to head them off. I’m not saying that I never will have another, but I have the confidence that such occurrences will be rare.

If you want to call that being “cured,” you may. I call it effective management of what is a lifelong tendency toward panic attacks. It’s like my diabetes. I know how to control my sugar levels, so I am confidant that I will have few, if any, of the physical effects (like lost limbs or kidney problems) that diabetes causes. However, diabetes is a permanent condition, though it can be managed, just like anxiety.


Eyad May 11, 2013 at 4:45 am

Interesting. however, I don’t agree with the diabetes analogy you made there. I don’t quite agree with how you defined the word “cure” either.

If you have diabetes, then you will have to keep it under control for the rest of your life. You never will forget that you have it and you never should. Otherwise, you will harm yourself. You always have to watch on it and follow a strict lifestyle. You have to use insulin injections or other methods to keep it down, daily. If you stop following that, sugar levels will rise and its damage will take place. That’s what I would call treating or managing.

However, with anxiety disorder, it’s not like that. Like in my case and cases of many others, we have moved on and have forgotten all about it. We live everyday without having to stick to a certain lifestyle or take specific medications. The way I’m living now feels exactly the same as before this anxiety demon hit me. It feels like as though I have never suffered with that hell, I only have some of the awful memories left. What part of this qualifies it to be categorized as managing? where exactly am I managing it at all? The disorder has literally vanished for three years now. Literally vanished. Diabetes doesn’t do that.

You will say it might hit me back. I agree, and I don’t mind it at all. It’s not that scary demon anymore. If it does come back, does that mean it has never left me? I think I quite disagree with that. If I have a cold now, and it gets cured after about a week. Then a year after, I have it again, does that mean my cold from a year back never left me? and was I never cured from it only because it returned after a year?

To cure something, it doesn’t have to be gone for ever. Otherwise, even cold, flu, infections, etc are never cured. Managing, on the other hand, is when symptoms return when you stop following a certain lifestyle, taking medications, or following certain techniques, like in diabetes or hypertension. I never do any of the above, and anxiety has shown no trace for so long.

You might say, but we have it built in our genes. You’re right. Our genes have their role to play in this. Genes make some of us more likely to develop anxiety disorder. Nonetheless, genetics alone don’t guarantee that anxiety disorder will be developed. Identical twins study proved that. Studies found that only about one-third of identical twins share the same fear or flight-fight response. If genes were alone to blame, then identical twins would have 100 per cent chance of having the same anxiety disorder, which is not the case. The effect of our genes can be overshadowed by other factors.

I apologize for such a long post. I remember when I was in the midst of this hell how I loved every post that lit my tunnel with hope. Some people eventually did that, and I am forever thankful. I would like to do the same here.

Dear Mike, I appreciate your efforts, but I truly believe you’re delivering the wrong message here. You’re just destroying hope for many. Sure, some don’t feel much better after years of suffering. I hope that doesn’t last long for them. There are many others who actually have successfully conquered this. Forums are filled with people like myself. After long suffering, we found a better life at last. Our anxiety and panic has no effect over our life at all. It’s like it never hit us. We ever forget the term “anxiety disorder” exists in the first place. that’s why people who recover don’t post much. Because we only think of it once in a blue moon or something.

I wish everybody good luck :)


Sid May 2, 2013 at 3:49 pm

PS Sorry about the typos!


Angel May 17, 2013 at 8:25 am

I’m Angel, I had anxiety f0r 2years


Brian June 7, 2013 at 9:53 pm

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


veli July 9, 2013 at 7:57 am

Brian and ST, how? Please let me know.


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


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.


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 :)


mohamed July 21, 2013 at 5:33 pm

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


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!


St July 21, 2013 at 5:39 pm

Hi you can email me at


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?


Veli August 27, 2013 at 12:38 pm

Bill do you have a fb or E-mail?


Veli August 27, 2013 at 12:31 pm

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


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


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!
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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


phobias February 21, 2014 at 6:01 pm

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OLIT KUMAR ROY April 16, 2014 at 5:45 am

Pls. Let me know how anxiety or panic attack can be cured.I took medicine Flupenthixol & Melitracin combination 2 months earlier and felt better.But recently Bangladesh government has banned the drug. At the same moment i am facing anxiety or panic attack that really hampering my daily life style.Have any solution please let me know.

Dhaka, Bangladesh.


mark June 12, 2014 at 5:37 pm

I have been taking citalopram 20mg for around 12 years. Long before that in my early teens I was given Diazopram but they knocked me sideway and I felt like I spent my life in a coma. without tablets I always had a feeling of underlying nervousness and to be honest for no apparent reason from threat or fear. I had a good healthy childhood and no life traumas. My first anxiety attack was really out of the blue and at the actual time I was having a good laugh with good friends. The room went wonky my heartbeat went into overdrive and I thought I was coming down with something. I wobbled home (I had not been drinking) and went to bed and in the morning everything was hazy and on turning my head it seemed to take a while for my vision to catch up. The I was overcome with dread and fear. It was the most awful feling ever and I would have given anything to get my life back. It was some years after trying various vitamins, foods and drinks I again began having attacks out of the blue leaving me in a type of dream state. Out of the blue my brother began having the attacks with the same symptoms as I had experienced and was put on escitalopram. After visiting my Doctors I was prescribed the same and although I believe there must be a physical underlyimg problem that creates these feelings and physical symptoms like pins and needles in my arms face and chest citalopram has given me my life back and I function normally. I do get the odd week now and again normally when my sleep has been disrupted over a week or so but on the whole life is good and I have been pretty successful thus far in my career and socila life.
I will add that you can’t rely just on pills and you do need to dig deep to get a grip and take hold off your life again and not be beaten by any phsical imperfections your brain may be hiding.


April Nelson March 25, 2016 at 2:15 am

Thank you so much for this post ! I suffer from Depression and I really hate to be depressed more. but to read your post it would be great support to me. self help may be one and the best to be secure. and describing the feelings is key to success.


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