When I suffered my first panic attack, I set off on a decade long journey to "cure" my illness. I knew that there was something terribly wrong with me. I worried I was "crazy." At times I was sure I was dying.
I spent countless hours doing talk therapy, EMDR, meditation... later I was prescribed anti-anxiety medication.
But none of that brought lasting relief, because the truth is: Anxiety and Panic Disorders are too often treated as a mental illness!
I spent a lot of time with a professional athlete who injured himself years ago. When he would pitch a baseball, it would cause pain. His career was in jeopardy. He had learned to pitch one way, but he had reached a point where what he had learned was causing him an increasing amount of pain.
The options were to either: Keep going as-is and make things worse every day OR "unlearn" the pitching movements that were destroying his joint and "relearn" new, healthier movements.
Much like my friend, anxiety is a learned behavior. And these responses and behaviors can be unlearned and replaced with healthy responses and behaviors.