Can Anxiety Disorder and Panic Attacks Be Cured? Yes! No!

– Posted in: Anxiety, Panic Attacks

Happy SmileyThe good news is that Anxiety and Panic Attacks can be cured. The bad news is that Anxiety and Panic Attacks cannot be cured. It depends on your definition of “cure.”

Let me explain:

A previous post, Can Anxiety Disorder and Panic Attacks Be Cured?, has been the most commented-on opinion article on AP&H since it was written. Its main points are:

  • The symptoms of Anxiety and Panic Attacks can be relieved, but the propensity to have them is a permanent part of a person’s psychological makeup.
  • You cannot count on any symptom relief being permanent.
  • Beware of internet sites offering a permanent cure.

For my pains, I have been rewarded with accusations of deliberately writing a depressing article, being an evil person, having no qualifications or research proof for making my assertions, or simply have been called a disagreeable name.

Almost every commenter missed my point, and I hold myself accountable for this. So this post is meant to correct the misapprehension.

What the dictionary says

Cure: Relief vs Eliminate

I think that a large part of the confusion revolves around the two dictionary definitions of the word “cure:”

  • “Relief of the symptoms of a disease or condition.” I believe most of commenters have this definition in mind. It’s like getting rid of a headache.
  • “Eliminate (a disease, condition, or injury) with medical treatment.” This is what I based my arguments upon. It’s like eliminating headaches for the rest of your life.

Relief vs eliminate. Commenters are talking about relief of symptoms, which is necessarily temporary. I am talking about complete elimination of symptoms, which implies permanence.

So to clear the air, I am going to speak plainly and succinctly:

Yes! Anxiety and Panic Attacks can be cured!

The goal of all treatment for Anxiety and Panic Attacks is the alleviation of symptoms. Some people call this a “cure.” However it is done, the relief may be temporary or it may last for years. Let’s hope it lasts for the rest of your life; nothing could make me happier.

No! There is no permanent cure for Anxiety and Panic Attacks!

There is no permanent cure for Anxiety and Panic Attacks – yet

The tendency toward Anxiety and Panic Attacks is both genetic and environmentally based. Many, many scientific studies have proven this fact.

Your psychological makeup is a part of you, just as much as the shape of your head. Although symptoms of Anxiety and Panic Attacks may be relieved on a long-term basis, such relief always has the potential to be broken since a person has an in-built tendency toward those mental problems.

I’m not trying to depress you; I’m just being honest.

You’re stuck with your head shape. You’re stuck with your basic psychological makeup. But you can do something about that psychology to relieve your symptoms for years. Just don’t fool yourself that it might be permanent. It may be, it may not be.

Beware of snake oil!

Anxiety and Panic Attack “cures” are a growth industry

When the original article was posted in 2008, searching for “anxiety cure” came up with 343,000 hits. In 2013 it was 30,200,000 hits. Typing in “panic attack cure” gets you 2,890,000 hits vs 782,000 in 2008.

While some of these “cures” may be legitimate and have a solid scientific foundation, many are just the wild ideas of hucksters meant to part you from your money. None of them have the approval of national psychiatric groups, such as the American Psychiatric Association.

The best, longest lasting treatment for Anxiety and Panic Attacks is that provided by mental health professionals. It may be therapy only, drugs only or a combination of the two. The best way to relieve symptoms is the technique called CBT, which helps you to change damaging thoughts into beneficial ones. With this treatment it may be possible to ward off Anxiety and Panic Attacks long-term, maybe even for the rest of your life.

The bottom line

You can get long-lasting relief from Anxiety and Panic Attack symptoms. But keep in mind that you have a built-in tendency toward these problems, so you may need touch-up treatment over time.

44 comments… add one
YD July 3, 2013, 6:28 am

Well, I actually agree with you on this one … Not because I’m too lazy to get “cured” but because no matter how often I find relief (sometimes for weeks, or even months), the symptoms Always come back. And people will say time and time again “oh stop worrying so much”, but it quite simply isn’t a choice. I can remember being anxious for as long as I can remember thinking at all – it was never fun, never easy, and was never totally cured. And, as you say, they can give you the tools to deal with symptoms and alleviate them, and you can use them (and do use them) and suddenly – bam. Welcome back on the worry-train. It’s irrational, and I think we know that, but if it wasn’t to some extent physiological – why would it come back every single time? If these tools or medications truly worked – why can they not eliminate the cause? Perhaps because we still don’t understand the cause of most mental illnesses, because it may be about time to stop relying so much on the DSM and start finding real biological markers for these disorders and illnesses. Maybe then, we would know what to “attack”, or that it cannot be attacked. Either way I understand why people were angry about the article. Who would want to believe that they may be suffering from these things for the rest of their lives? Maybe if you can overcome it by going to 5 therapy sessions, you didn’t have an anxiety disorder in the first place – but actual anxiety, which has a definitive psychological cause and once found and tackled, can be eliminated. For some of us, who’ve spend ages in therapy and tried medications and tried not taking medications, doing sports and eating healthy – it still doesn’t stop. It always comes back, and there’s usually not even a reason. That…is a disorder.

Julie September 25, 2013, 6:04 pm

I agree with this comment and I found this article the most helpful I have come upon!!! Thank you Mike Nichols!!!

Eyad July 8, 2013, 3:13 am

I see what you’re saying, and you might be right. It is true, mental illnesses aren’t clear to us yet. I think your comment about DSM is spot-on. It is much like obesity, where both genetics and lifestyles have their roles to play. Many successfully manage to lose weight through lifestyles changes and stay in the healthy BMI range. Others, They might lose weight for a while, however they return to their obese bodies when they stop exercising or watching on their diets. Those guys will be complaining that they have done everything but they still can’t keep their weight in the desired range. Much like people who don’t recover from anxiety.

Is is the anxiety that is hard to control? Or is anxiety merely a result, while its underlying cause is the one that is hard to control, namely sensitivity. I think all anxious people are originally sensitive, but not all sensitive people are chronically anxious. Again, just like with obesity, the underlying cause that’s hard to control would be the metabolism and appetite genes. Obesity is the result.

However, those with anxiety and depression have hope, and I will tell you why.

Check out all the neuroplasticity research that’s been published in the last few years. Harvard and other institutes found Discoveries there that even surprised the researchers themselves. It used to be believed that our brains are immutable, and they aren’t capable of rewiring themselves. However, it turned out that neural pathways change as they respond to behavior and environment, and this change can happen at ANY time of your life. This is a scientific fact, look it up if you will. I will paste a part I copied from Dr. Marie Pasinki’s article (it was published 2 months ago):

“Regardless of age, your brain has the ability to make new neurons and construct new neural pathways throughout your life. When you engage in new experiences or think in novel ways, new pathways are forged. Every time you think a specific thought, a specific pathway of neurons fires up, neurotransmitters are released and synapses are subtly altered. With repetition this pathway is strengthened. Even as you read this very sentence, your brain is changing. In this way, your brain’s structure is a culmination of all the thoughts and experiences you have had up to this very moment.”

Richard Davidson led a study where he showed that the actual structure of the brain changes in response to meditation. This change he found is actually a long-term change.

My point is: don’t attribute your anxiety to physiological reasons, for your brain changes physiologically throughout your life. It’s not fixed by genes alone. You have hope, we all do.

Amal Thejus March 29, 2016, 3:46 am

I too read about the neuro-plasticity of our brains. mindfulness Meditation cven actually re-wire your brain if done for 30 minutes a day for 8 weeks. Mindfulness Meditation is good for anxiety problems but i still think the brain will re-wire back to its original state due to genetics. We will have to make meditation a part of our lives.

Rob April 15, 2016, 9:43 am

Once your brain is “sculpted” with new wiring (neuroplasticity) it CAN’T rewire the old way. It’s like when you learn to play the guitar, or learning to drive a car, if you stop to do any of them you won’t delete that ability from your mind. That means working directly into the situation that causes you anxiety, otherwise you are not “re-wiring” but insted you are making new connections.
I guess anxiety can be fully overcome, it’s hard but you can. Last researches say anxiety is a bit different from other mental illness, and is not really a mental illness, oh well, it’s not an organic illness, it’s more like you trained to act that way and must re-sculpt those networks (thinking, inner and outer perceptions, emotions).
My experience: because of my GAD some (just some, luckly) told me I had to take medications forever. I had to take 40 drops of paroxetine, and 25 for maintainence dose. Once i started working on myself (cbt, reading, meditation, awareness of my emotions, rewiring) I started tapering down the drops, now I’m on 5 drops and I feel somewhat ok, but I tell you, I’ve been throug some major stress, even more than in past, and I can’t handle it, even if I stopped meditating and working on myself right now. I guess I have to start working on myself a lil bit again to stop definitely with meds. You can change, it’s hard and it takes lot of time, but you can. Stop with genes or serotoning hypothesis (the latter one has been demonstrated to be kind of scam with no scientific basis).

Rob April 15, 2016, 9:45 am

sorry , about major stress, i meant “I CAN handle them, now”

PERBESH SARKI October 23, 2017, 3:12 pm

Sorry my generalized anxiety disorder is fully cured.

Melissa November 15, 2017, 4:18 pm

How did you find your cure?

Steve July 10, 2013, 12:00 pm

I think life experience is the best teacher. My GAD caused me two major nervous breakdowns in college, when I was 19 and 22, but I was set to defeat the condition. Now I am 39 years old, and after two decades of alternative therapies to fix my anxiety, I have found my generalized anxiety disorder has never been fully cured. A few months ago, I went through a nervous breakdown due to my anxiety getting out of control, and I thought I could handle it without medication, but I was wrong.

After years of therapy, which includes alternative and talk therapy, I was under the assumption that I could cure my anxiety. After spending thousands of dollars on therapies like acupuncture, energy medicine, emdr, hypnotherapy, body therapy, energy matrix, eft, as well as talk sessions with trained mental professionals, I felt I had earned the right to live a full productive life without anxiety bothering me and without needing medication to control it. As I look back, that was a myth and I could have saved myself money, as well as time, from having to invest in so much therapy, when I recognized that Generalized Anxiety Disorder is a brain dysfunction, or a biological condition, and it can’t be cured until some technology finds a way to shift brain frequencies to their optimum levels.

I’ve read hundreds of psychology books, and studied a lot of philosophies with the understanding that my thoughts create my reality. If I change my thoughts, then I can change my physical reactions, like my Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I know I have the belief it’s possible to change my health condition, but unfortunately, belief doesn’t override what your body can truly handle. This is like telling a person with one leg that it’s possible to grow another limb, and that person has high hopes that it will happen with the belief it will. Maybe one day humans will be capable of growing new limbs, but at this point, be realistic and accept that right now, humans can’t.

Likewise after two decades of my attempts to over ride my anxiety disorder, as well as hours of prayers to God that I deserve to be better versus being sick, I’ve surrendered. I will be on antianxiety medication for life, and no matter how much holistic therapy, talk therapy or beliefs that this will change, it won’t.

When I was nineteen, I would have read your article and disagreed with you, and would have proved that I would be the exception to the rule, and overcome my anxiety disorder for life, and be a normal functional human being, who could function without medication and without being burderend by anxiety. Unfortunately after twenty years, I’ve hit the acceptance that’s not the case. Likewise there is nothing wrong with being on antianxiety medication for life.

People may not want to hear others who have gone through life experience of trying to cure their anxiety disorders completely, yet regardless of their someone’s strong beliefs and persistent work at therapies, failed.

I don’t think it’s being negative, I think it’s learning to accept the reality that this is a biological condition that, at this point in time, has no full cure. We can argue incessantly with this truth, but if you’ve lived twenty years trying to fix the uncurable, you have no choice to accept it’s a condition for life.

So I know people, who suffer from a severe generalized anxiety disorder, don’t want to hear this, and will try to prove this assumption wrong. They have a choice to argue differently, but over time, they’ll recognize generalized anxiety disorder is a condition to live with for life.

Tom September 13, 2017, 8:07 am

Oh c’mon. You are NOT realistic. Being realistic means that YOU (and most other gad sufferers) didn’t cure your GAD, but someone else did. You know this well inside of you, everyone is different. I’m no one, but just look at clinical research, many people recover, and some (even if the minority) remain Gad free even decades later. Sure they may still have a susceptibility, maybe not all of them, who knows ? Anyway, therapy (meds, alternative, whatever) for some are great part of the “cure”, but usually they are not enought, who has been succesful also gave a strong steer to their life since Gad, anxiety and depression is usually also based on responses to environment. If you can find what’s the trigger you can work on changing it. Sometime the trigger is in the past, just take a look at hundreds of research paper done in the last 3 years on childhood traumas and their risk for developing future gad-depression in adulthood. I mean, suppose you have a personality disorder (which is usual in gad! most types are avoidant) with a sub-clinical symptomatology, you want ever notice it (that’s a personality disorder, you think nothing is wrong with your inner world), in that case if you don’t get aware of it you won’t EVER be able to work on it.

Jude July 19, 2013, 2:34 am

I think the truth is that all of you are right. To some extent. What’s missing are the last few pieces of the jigsaw puzzle.

If you don’t understand what your basic constitution is and how to keep it happy, then you are going to experience regular, ongoing discomfort for the rest of your life. But when you’ve got that information, it’s reasonably straightforward to stay in balance. The mistake we all make is in thinking that we should be able to live our lives in just the same way as everyone else.

People who easily gain weight think they should be able to eat what the naturally slim can eat.

People who are a little sluggish think everyone else should be able to enjoy thriller movies, spicy food and late nights as much as they do.

The sensitive can’t understand why others can’t feel things the way they do and the insensitive think they should toughen up.

Likewise, when our stress levels get too high, some people are prone to anxiety problems, others are more prone to anger issues or heart attacks and others are more likely to suffer depression and inertia.

Unless you can understand your particular constitution then the other therapies, wonderful as many of them are, really have their work cut out to create a significant and stable improvement. It’s like expecting a broken leg to heal when you keep walking on it.

I, too, searched endlessly for the ‘cure’, or for someone to cure me. But really, it’s like looking for a cure for life! When I discovered the extraordinary wisdom of Ayurveda, something so profound yet easy to understand, I had a major “aha!” moment. When I really understood that my lifestyle, just as much as my thought processes, was at the root of my anxiety/panic, it was enormously empowering. And this has been the case for countless others. There is so much that we can do to prevent us from ever being overwhelmed by anxiety again. We just need to accept that this is a weak point for us, make some appropriate changes and stick with it!

Lisa June 8, 2015, 6:37 pm

I agree with you 100% and want to emphasize that an over load of stress & unreleased emotions causes anxiety. Unmanaged stress levels increase our anxiety which then one day leads to an overload of adrenaline causing a panic attack. We can have a panic attack learn from it & never have it again ever but unfortunately the lack of awareness of it causes many people to get into a cycle of fearing the panic attacks thus getting anxious over anxious feelings/sensations. In my opinion anyone of us on earth can be prone to anxiety & panic attacks if under a lot of stress. I beleive there is a cure. Read up on Claire Weekes.

maria May 14, 2018, 8:15 pm

THANK YOU SO MUCH I CRIED OF HAPPINESS WHEN I READ THIS IM DESPERATELY LOOKING FOR RELIEF FOR MY ANXIETY. I see now how my attitude towards everyone near me is very harsh i expect them to act perfect how i want it to be but thats impossible to be. thats too much stress in my mind when im not even the owner of their lives i should worry only about me but in an easier nicer way, thats why i cannot stop stressing out and making my mind go crazy.

Steve July 19, 2013, 9:16 pm

Hi Jude,

I agree everything with what you said.

>>> The mistake we all make is in thinking that we should be able to live our lives in just the same way as everyone else.

You’re right there is no *correct* path for everyone. When managing an anxiety disorder. some choose alternative therapies as methods of self healing; some choose Cognitive Behavioral Therapy; some choose medication; and some choose medication and CBT. As long as there is some method self healing, then I think progress is being made.

For my path, though, I choose medication for life.

I do know from experience that if we choose an alternative therapy route, we get might hung up in the belief that alternative therapy can provide a permanent cure. Not to say it can’t; it just hasn’t for me. Alternative therapies can seem more appealing because they advertise a more natural route to managing anxiety versus taking antianxiety pills.

There is a trained stigma that pill taking is bad, versus a more natural route of healing. I say this because from the Anxiety Discussion Boards I go too, a lot of anxiety sufferers feel a more alternative route is far more appealing than pill taking.

However this is open to interpretation, but I think that stigma can be damaging if we get frozen in seeking treatment from one sole source. There are a variety of options out there when managing an anxiety disorder, from medication, alternative therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

ALL are valid choices, and we should never discredit one path over the other, because we might benefit more from medication, when we think the answer is alternative therapy, or maybe we might benefit more from alternative therapy than medication, but we should give ALL paths credit.

You sum this up very well:

>>> We just need to accept that this is a weak point for us, make some appropriate changes and stick with it!

For me, I’ve accepted my generalized anxiety disorder as a serious health problem.

Initially sufferers of an anxiety disorder may brush it off, and think it’s no big deal, since we’ll think it’s all in our thinking, and less so in our braining functioning. I come from the perspective that an anxiety disorder has more to do with an unbalanced nervous
system that has been improperly trained on how to handle the flight or fight response. Since the nervous systsem works in relationship to the brain, cognitive therapy really can’t override a malfunctioning brain operating a maladjusted nervous system.
The brain is too damaged to change itself, in response to new levels of thinking, I think but medication can rebalance the brain to optimum levels of serotonin.

But this is just my angle, and I could never say my angle is more appropriate than someone else’s, because we all deal with our anxiety issues in our own unique way.

So absolutely, we need to accept our weak points, that anxiety is a part of us, and make lifestyle changes to live with it. :)


Carlos July 20, 2013, 5:25 pm


In response to your serotonin comment, watch this and let me know what you think.

Mike Nichols July 20, 2013, 9:05 pm

Carlos, thank you for your comment.

The psychiatrist in the video you reference appears to be among the 5% that do not think psychotropic medications are effective. I wish he had given references or more background information about his assertions; he is asking people to take his proclamation at face value, which may actually be injurious to the person watching it.

I thought of not approving your comment, but I never censor legitimate comments, only spam. But I do want people to know that the psychiatrist in the video does not represent majority opinion on serotonin’s relationship to depression.

Steve July 21, 2013, 10:45 am

I watched the video, and based on my own personal experience in managing my menal illness, I have to disagree with his assertion that medication is more of a placebo in fixing depression and anxiety. I’ve gone through psychotic epsidsodes that would have never ended without the appropriate antianxiety medication, so speaking for myself, I know anxietymedication is essential for me in managing my generalized anxiety disorder with a brain having deficient amounts of serotonin, as a diabetic needs medication to handle their lifetime health disorder.

However as much as I push antianxiety medicaion for myself, I do know that not everyone needs antianxiety medication, and some can try a different route with success.

But I think generalized anxiety disorder sufferers may need to be realistic that they might not be in the nonmedication category. I’m not saying this applies to you, but people with generalized anxiety disorder may have to come to terms medication maybe the best and only path for them.

Of course I am being assertive with my claims, so everyone has to determine what is best for them in dealing with generalized anxiety disorder. I just know the right path for me.

For sufferers with other generalized anxiety disorders, it’s common to look at other paths or cures, other than a path of lifetime medication and cognitive behavioraly therapy. If you decide to see an alternative therapist, such as one that practices hypnotherapy, acupuncture, emotional freedom technique, energy work, biofeedback, a positive thinking philosophy, a spiritual philosophy in surrendering to God, and there are others, but these are therapies that I am familiar with, as a method of cure, don’t always take what your alternative therapist says as absolute truth.

Your alternative therapist will often push their method as the right way, because they make a living off it and need you to pay their services, and not to sound altruisic, but they unfortuntately won’t provide any refunds if their therapy fails you, even after several sessions of your anticipated hope that it will. Likewise their therapy from their experience it works for them, but you are not *them*, because it might not work for you. Just like some diets might work for some people to rid unwanted weight, not every diet is going to cure obesity, but some diets do, and normally those who push that diet would have success with it, and try to think what works for them has to work for you. Not so.

So where I am getting at is research your disorder on your own, and with combined life experience, you’ll know what is most appropriate for you. Having one opinion on how to approach generalized anxiety disorder isn’t really helpful, instead research the opinions of the sereral others who have studied this disorder for years, and then factor why they came to their conclusions, and why it is most beneficial to you.

Each of us are in charge of our own individual health and how we manage our generalized anxiety disorders for the rest of our lives.


Carlos July 22, 2013, 6:27 am

Dear Mike,

I thank you for approving my comment. I apologize if my comment was somehow against the rules of this wonderful website.

Regarding the psychiatrist in the video, his opinion on serotonin is actually supported by many research in the past few years . All what he said in the video has been proved by published research. It is not without assertions.

I think you wouldn’t prefer it if posted links here, so I will just copy and paste some of reliable references:

Alan Frazer, an antidepressant researcher and chairman of the pharmacology department at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio says: “I don’t think there’s any convincing body of data that anybody has ever found that depression is associated to a significant extent with a loss of serotonin”

Dr. Joseph Coyle, a professor of neuroscience at Harvard Medical School and editor of the journal Archives of General Psychiatry, has said: “Chemical imbalance is sort of last-century thinking. It’s much more complicated than that, It’s really an outmoded way of thinking.” Coyle says that though serotonin plays a role in depression, low serotonin is likely not the cause of depression. Scientific thinking has clearly shifted, he says.

Dr. David burns, a professor of psychiatry at Stanford University says:” There is an almost superstitious belief in our culture that depression results from a chemical or hormonal imbalance of some type in the brain. But this is an unproven theory and not a fact”

Dr. Pedro Delgado, chair of the University of Texas psychiatry department] carried out a study that showed that if you take a normal person and deplete them of serotonin, they will not become depressed. He says he feels this demonstrates that low serotonin doesn’t cause depression.

Delgado has been even more outspoken than that on the issue. In an article published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry way back in 2000, Delgado wrote these somewhat scathing remarks: “Some have argued that depression may be due to a deficiency of [norepinephrine] or [serotonin] because the enhancement of noradrenergic or serotonergic neurotransmission improves the symptoms of depression. However, this is akin to saying that because a rash on one’s arm improves with the use of a steroid cream, the rash must be due to a steroid deficiency.”

Please excuse me for posting from outside links, but I thought this is cruical to our argument since you think the video claimed results without evidence. These are only some of the results I have found, if you dig deeper a lot more is available that scientifically proves those statements.

What really got me to start researching all of this is that whenever I look up depression and anxiety (I suffer both), They would say “Serotonin is thought to be the cause of depression” or ” serotonin is presumed to be the key cause of depression”. Not even a single legit source has ever considered the serotonin deficiency as a scientific fact. I’m talking about sources such as FDA or Mayoclinic. I am sorry, but “thought” and “presumed” doesn’t cut it for me. SSRI caused me a great deal of distress, side effects, and I have become overall worse.

Researchers are getting closer to a better depression treatment than SSRI, I hope that day isn’t far away.

Dear Steve,

I really love your post. It is so true. Each should follow whatever they find to bring good results. Regardless if it’s scientific or not. I know if my TV doesn’t work, I would smack it three times and it works again. It’s not scientific, but who cares. I am happy as you sound you’re coping well with GAD.

Thanks for reading my post, and wish you all the best :)

Mike Nichols July 22, 2013, 11:18 am

Thank you Carlos for your detailed reply.

I would be interested in reading further and you may post URL’s if you wish. I have set the blog to require approval of any comment with URL’s to keep spammers away, not to block legitimate comments.

Thanks again!

Steve July 22, 2013, 2:44 pm

Hi carlos,

From experience, I took a few SSRIs which had really bad side effects. First there was Lexapro wihch worked fine for two weeks, and then afterwards I experienced regular sweating, sexual side effects, and dizziness. I got off it. I then tried a new medication called Latuda, and it was just as bad as the Lexapro. After a few days I got off it.

Then I tried zyprexa, and found myself sleeping at work, so I got off it, since it was dangerous when I was driving.

After seeing the doctor again, I was prescribed Prozac. It actually stopped me from having obsessive thoughts, however it had a lot of side effects.

But I stuck with the medication, because at that point of my life, I was desparate to feel better and was willing to put with side effects, as long as the medication handled the obsessive thoughts, and even the suicidal tendencies.

Now I’m on Zoloft and a lot of the symptoms I experienced on the other medications are no longer a problem for me. It works with my chemistry and I think I’ll be on this drugs as long as I can without side effects. I put up with the side effects of Prozac for about three months, because the medicine worked on the mental health side, but it caused problems in other ares of my body. Yet I knew there could be another medication that would benefit me with the help from my psych doctor.

The reason I mention this is that you may have to go through several SSRIs to find the one that fits your body chemistry. I know that’s frustrating, but if you find a good psychiatrist, he can probably pinpoint you to the right combination of medications to fit your body chemistry.

If you go to a regular doctor, who does not specialize in psychiatric medicine, they may just prescribe any medication, not being aware of the side effects. So it’s better to see a doctor that knows these medicines very well, and that is why I recommend a psychiatrist.

You shouldn’t have to put up with side effects with medication, however you could possibly find a SSRI that works for you, if you work with the right doctor that can tailor a drug combination to fit your body’s chemistry.

Good luck!


Mike Nichols July 22, 2013, 7:36 pm

Hi Steve,

First, let me thank you for your detailed comments. I’m sure many people will be helped by them.

Your experience with medication mirrors that of many people. I’ve been taking psychotropic drugs since 1989, and you are absolutely right that it takes time to find one that is both effective and has tolerable side effects.

Every person’s body is different, and what works for one won’t work for all. In addition, your body changes over time, and it’s possible that what works now won’t work next year, and what didn’t work last year might work two years from now.

But I don’t want to give the impression that medications just stop being effective. Many, if not most, people find long-lasting relief from the drug that works best for them. I’ve been taking one drug for ten years with no side effects and no diminution of its effectiveness, and I expect to take it as long as it’s needed.

Thanks again!


brian August 1, 2013, 9:24 pm

I think the debate in my mind would be the term “Permanent cure.” Many people have been helped with various methods through various counseling and methods of dealing with anxiety. Many times they have relief of their symptoms.

However, if they return to the same type of thought processes that they used before their method of counseling, psychotherapy, etc., they can easily fall back into the same pattern of anxiety.

Davit August 1, 2015, 7:50 pm


You are talking about coping skills as a cure and I agree if that is all you are doing then you can easily revert. but with cognitive restructuring you actually change how you think so you don’t have a way to revert. It is a long slow process but works. It works with memory so that you actually can not access the negative instead of just blocking it with coping.

Steve September 7, 2013, 9:10 pm

Personally I think there should be more government regulation about the word *permanent cure* in relation to the word anxiety disorder (aka panic disorder). There are a lot of websites that can claim their method will *cure* someone of an anxiety disorder. I can believe that some methods may offer substantive relief, or temporary relief, but not a *permanent cure*. Likewise a lot of self help philosophies, especially around the new age market, are advertising cures for anxiety disorders, without scientific proof to back up their claims. People can claim they’ve been relieved of anxiety disorder, and I have no argument about that claim, but until you’ve been in full remission from an anxiety disorder for a twenty year period, I don’t think you can claim a *permanent cure*.

Elizabeth October 21, 2013, 1:30 pm

Have read all comments with interest
Am on low dose anti anxiety for many years It has improved the quality of my lfe Can drive and think calmly
Side effects are negligible
Suffered badly as a child and all the talk therapy in the world will never change that
Good luck to all
Please feel free to keep in touch

Andrew Clark January 24, 2014, 6:28 am

Yes it can be cured. I have one suggestion for all that if you are suffering from such symptoms then you can go for TMS therapy. It is a magnetic therapy and just take 40 minutes. No need to take any medicine.

Sheep June 1, 2014, 7:22 am


Just read all the comments, and have to say(I have GAD, SAD and pure-o OCD comorbidity) that many anxiety sufferers see their anxiety problem as curable within specific amount of time, wrong.
Yes ofc there are genetic/biological predispositions for anxiety illness, but no one has anxiety disorder just like that, that stuff is learned from parents, peers, traumatic and embarrassing events in life and even movies, books or media.
Another mistake they are doing is that they are only learning to work around actual anxiety, not the source of it. If source of your anxiety is shame, you have to work around shame to get rid of anxiety, is it perfectionism? Too much neediness or controlling behavior? Too high standards for everything? are you hardheaded too much and can’t accept failure or someone’s else victory? Do you set yourself a goals that you are not capable of doing? That’s what has to change, anxiety is “only” side effect and body response and since your body can’t cope with it on its own, you become physically ill with an anxiety disorder. You have to accept that you will be average person with your health and social problems and bad memories just like everyone else, with limited financial income and skills and most of what happens around you is out of your and anyone’s else control. You don’t fight any illness face to face, you have to learn to live with it, surrender to it, and adjust your life according to how the disease gets healed over a time. What you have to face is having the illness with you and undergoing the treatment.
Technically no illness or even physical ones are curable just like that.
Anxious people should be taught more assertiveness and humility. In that sense they start to accept bad things as unavoidable part of life and will stop obsess over them, therefore their anxiety will be gone. It doesn’t mean they will never again experience anxiety or panic attack(healthy people experience them as well from time to time), but they will be living normally without major problems, there are people who due to physiological conditions have to be on antidepressants for most of their lives, but once they are, they also can be symptom free and just live their lives as others. I wish you a good luck.

Davit August 1, 2015, 8:09 pm

Well you are part right in that you have the reasons for anxiety, but not the actual treatment for them. Accepting you have anxiety is right, accepting you will always have it is wrong. I could tell you how to cure anxiety but there is no room here, it would take a lot of room. possibly fifty pages.
My point is that if I could find the material to fill those fifty pages and get a permanent cure then anyone can. Unless they just give up. Start with how memory works and add in anything related to it and you will find the answer. Study too how hippocampus, Amygdala and Hypothalamus work and their connection and you will be surprised at the reason for anxiety and the simple cure for it.

Jim July 12, 2015, 2:32 pm

OK, and now for those of you who do not speak “retard”, no, GAD and SAD cannot be “cured”. What other stupidity would you like to waste our time and insult our intelligence with?

chez September 17, 2017, 8:25 am

Unfortunately, that’s exactly the kind of thinking, language and attitude that Anxiety and Depression feed on. I didn’t believe in the theory behind CBT until I actually had the therapy and found that it worked. Change your thinking, change your life!

Tom September 17, 2017, 9:08 am

If you can’t cure your own issue, don’t blame others :) And, as you can read below, I’m not saying it can be cured nor it can’t, it all depends on the causes and on what you do to fix it (in case it’s a fixable cause)

Davit August 1, 2015, 7:40 pm

I have to disagree with you. If you look at how the parts of the brain work you will notice that it is how the brain treats the information coming into the brain or that fed back from memory that causes panic attacks. changing how you see this information changes the reaction. And since the brain works on appropriate, not right or wrong all you need to do is give it the right appropriate. This is a long slow process but is permanent unless you reverse it, and why would you. This is cognitive restructuring and is proven to work. But whether you can understand and do it dictates whether you get cured not whether there is a cure.

Tom September 17, 2017, 8:59 am

This is just as wrong as stating “You can’t cure it”. It all DEPENDS, not all causes are the same, just like in depression, it can set in for physical issues, stress, trauma, inflammation, hormonal issues, dietary issues, and so on. Most cases are managebale , others completely curable, others aren’t, in part because it’s not always easy to find the cause, in part because a minority of cases could possibly have more a “genetic” bias., but most likely because the root cause is more complex : e.g as I wrote in a comment above in case of personality issues, which is much more prevalent than anyone can think, it’s a much slower and deeper process than just changin your thinking. But in most cases , with perseverance, it’s doable, or in the worst case scenario, it can get much better even you are one of those few unlucky people where genetic has most influence.

Kevin Jeffrey June 9, 2017, 11:24 pm

Hi guys,

I used to have extreme panic attacks and suffered from them for about 5-6 months all day. I thought that my life was basically over that I had discovered this panic feeling and I thought there was no way I could ever get rid of it. I didn’t want to go on medication because my fear was that eventually they would stop working and I would not be solving the underlying cause. I was living in sheer and utter terror during this time. Even watching cartoons would make me think of morbid thoughts and everything I read online -everyone on the forums seemed to be living in terror too. I discovered a book called From Turmoil to Tranquility and that book cured my panic attacks. I definitely recommend you guys read it. I used to think that there was a huge flaw in the way our universe worked to let people suffer from panic attacks. I got extremely mad that I could not shake the panic feeling even though I knew I was still mentally in control. I had a profound realization: people who suffer from panic attacks try to shut down the world and their emotions afraid that they will trigger their panic attacks. Without getting too mystical, I think we as human beings have an emotional necessity of feeling uncertain or taking risks. People who get panic attacks, try their absolute best to stop taking any type of risk, or putting themselves in uncertain situations because they want to avoid triggering panic feelings. This is the biggest mistake because I believe we are designed to take risks. Screw it, I will get a bit mystical. I believe we as sentient creatures were given consciousness to experience the universe and give feedback to it. The cost of this consciousness I believe is putting up with the feeling of uncertainty. Unfortunately, I think the type of people who are susceptible to panic attacks are the type of people who don’t emotionally push themselves or put themselves in risky situations. Once these people experience a panic attack, often they are stuck with the feeling because I hallucinate their body will use panic attacks as a way of meeting one of its basic fundamental needs: feeling uncertain. To break free of this, you need to fully embrace your panic attacks, you need to stop clinging on for certainty. Even the risk of knowing panic attacks can come any second but embracing it can set you free. Panic attacks, I hallucinate are a wakeup call that you need to be more open to life and taking risks! I know that this sounds totally left field, but for me, these panic attacks were honestly a blessing because I have embraced the feeling of uncertainty and am more emotionally free now. If you would like to ask me any questions, feel free to email me at

Dora Luna July 10, 2017, 2:24 am

I read all and it was very helpful thank you

giog October 25, 2017, 7:28 pm

i had worst anxiety disordar for 2 years but after medication treatment i got wel it can be cured. 4 year anxiety free and it feels great and i can smoke weed again without panick attaks ))

Mark Hooben September 15, 2018, 8:05 pm

What medication treatment cured you? I have bad anxiety panic attacks its a tingling numbing sensation on the top to the back of my head. I want it to stop . I have take lorazepam several times and it works wonders but when the medicine wares off it comes on stronger and i don’t want to fet addicted. What was your medication?

Pipo January 19, 2018, 2:34 am

I’m hoping to help someone with my post. I suffer from panic disorder and agarophobia. I was debilitated. One year bed ridden. I decided to go to a local gym and start swimming. Swimming I did. I started with one lap. Then 5, then 50 then 60 laps a day. I didn’t skip a day. I dropped my time to below 25 min for 60 laps. My anxiety disappeared. I started laughing at my old self. If I stop swimming for a month, I start feeling anxious again. But not like before. Swimming and anxiety don’t mix. Swimming will eradicate your anxiety. Start swimming, be patient initially. In one week you will start feeling the difference. In one month if you stick with it you will laugh at your old self. Swim baby swim :)

Mark June 22, 2018, 2:55 pm

I started having panic attacks about 30 years and it took a couple of years after many many visits to emergency rooms and doctors And they said that nothing was wrong with me! But I knew there was! The real kicker was one time I was in the emergency room and the doctor came in to tell me that all the blood work and the EKG and all that was fine but that didn’t mean That I couldn’t walk out the door and have a heart attack! How the hell can a doctor tell someone that? So my mother got me an appointment to see the doctor that she was working for and he gave me a list asking me what symptoms do I agree with and I picked like 10 out of 12 of them And he said I had panic disorder! So he started me on Xanax and Zoloft and I asked him how long I would be on it And he said probably the rest of my life. So after 30 years I weaned myself off and have been fine for the last 2 years I would say but then I started having some symptoms again. Thankfully, no panic attacks! And one weekend I was watching this show and they were talking about the service dogs that they were training to give to veterans coming back from Afghanistan and Iraq. and one guy started saying all of the symptoms that he was having and it was like Me talking! And they’re talking about PTSD. I am also a veteran but never saw combat so I looked up if I could have PTSD from a divorce And sure enough! You can! So I think instead of panic disorder it’s actually PTSD. so a few days later I was taking a nap and just having regular nap time dreams and I suddenly woke up sobbing and sobbing For absolutely no reason! Thank God my dog was there and started licking my face to help me as much as she could. so I made an appointment to see my psychiatrist again for next Thursday and will probably go back on antidepressants. I have been like really teary-eyed lately but not even close to being depressed and this article really opened up my eyes so I guess it actually is A lifetime Problem unfortunately.

Cannon Law October 9, 2018, 4:32 pm

I believe that panic attacks can be controlled. But not really cured.

I think medicine helps control all thesymptoms but it´s not possible to cure this. Since it´s more like a physical issue

Nimx October 9, 2018, 4:59 pm

You are right about medicine, but psychological work has been shown to be effective, sometime like a cure, for some. That’s because the right therapy brings structural changes to the brain. Science c can’t tell yet why it works for some but not for others. I had good success with psychological work and mind body techniques, it’s 4 years now that I have almost no symptoms with a really small dose of medicine, well under therapeutic dose. So I think I will just Vobbia working in this direction, I’ve got my life back. Actually better than ever

charlie brandino December 4, 2018, 2:04 am

accept .and u will be and fullcured .Godbless us all 🙏🙏😁😁

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