Edmonton Anxiety Clinic | Calgary Anxiety Clinic

Supporting a loved one with an anxiety disorder can be difficult. They may suffer from an obsessive compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder or social anxiety – all of which can make their behaviour difficult to understand. Worse, their anxiety and panic attack can impact your relationship and your life. Consequently, supporting them can involve a delicate balance of your needs and theirs during treatment. Below are some helpful tips:

  • Keep the illness separate from the individual in your mind. It can be challenging, but this creates a more objective perspective and negates the need for you to understand fully.
  • Help them apply new skills. Ask them how you can assist with their treatment – it may be with reminders, practice or allowing them to master tasks on their own.
  • Allow some time. New habits, anxiety treatment and even medications take time to implement.
  • Unless you are a professional or are working with theirs, be cautious about giving advice. It can quickly become incorrect or dismissive.
  • Set strong personal boundaries if your loved one wants to involve you in their anxiety in an unhealthy way. Remember – enabling isn’t helpful either.
  • Help them to seek anxiety treatment. Treatment modalities like the one we offer can effectively treat anxiety – not just manage panic disorder – getting it out of your life for good.

Shift 101 – Learn The Language for a Panic Attack

“I am at Risk”

This is the classic anxiety, paranoia or worry-inducing cognition. The one that gives rise to all kinds of things: obsessive worry, checking, feeling unsafe or vulnerable, and a lot more. And it isn’t just triggered by physical danger. It can even generate physical symptoms like chest pain or excessive sweating just to name a few. It could create fear of looking stupid in social situations, worry about bad things happening to loved ones, or a panic attack before a presentation at work. Far-reaching and diverse in its expression- this internalized belief can have a great, global impact when removed.

Panic attacks are spontaneous bursts of acute fear that provoke serious physical reactions when there is no immediate danger or recognizable trigger. The manifestation of these attacks is rapid and intense, leaving one drained and weak when they dissipate. Symptoms encompass a pounding heart, excessive sweating, trembling, breathlessness, a looming sense of catastrophe, and feelings of detachment. These attacks can strike randomly, causing immense disruption and potential interference with everyday life.

Understanding Panic Attacks:

The experiences of panic attacks can vary greatly from person to person in terms of their frequency, intensity, and duration. What remains common, however, is the significant distress they cause. Individuals often fear losing control, going mad, or even dying during these intense episodes. Consequently, many people will attempt to avoid scenarios that could induce a panic attack, leading to an increasingly restrictive lifestyle.

Panic Attack

The Shift Protocol Solution:

Here’s where the Shift Protocol comes into play. This therapeutic intervention is based on the understanding that panic attacks, along with other mental health challenges, have psychological, physiological, social, and environmental elements that all need to be addressed.

The Shift Protocol commences with a meticulous evaluation and diagnosis process. This crucial stage involves identifying the onset, frequency, duration, and intensity of panic attacks, enabling the development of a tailored therapeutic plan. Potential triggers and underlying conditions are also examined as part of this comprehensive assessment.

The cornerstone of the Shift Protocol is a fusion of Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Reconditioning via Exposure & Integration (REI), also known as Reprocessing. CBT is instrumental in assisting individuals to recognize and alter thought patterns that induce symptoms of panic and anxiety. By challenging their fears and worries, individuals can curb the escalation into a full-blown panic attack.

The second component, REI, involves systematically confronting and integrating Limiting Beliefs

— the often subconscious ideas that inhibit individuals from realizing their potential or achieving their goals. Through systematic exposure and reprocessing, these beliefs can be neutralized, reducing their power to trigger panic attacks.

Alongside CBT and REI, the Shift Protocol incorporates a variety of lifestyle modifications. Improvements in sleep, nutrition, and physical activity levels can significantly bolster mental health. The protocol may also involve reducing intake of panic attack triggers like caffeine and alcohol.

The Shift Protocol recognizes the value of a supportive network in the individual’s journey.

The protocol works with the life analysis portion to ensure emotional support and practical assistance are available when managing panic attacks.

To conclude, the Shift Protocol tackles panic attacks by addressing their root causes rather than merely managing symptoms.

Its comprehensive, multi-dimensional approach equips individuals with the skills and understanding required to manage their anxiety effectively. Over time, the aim is not only to control panic attacks but also to boost overall well-being and life quality. As with any treatment, results will vary, but many have found significant relief and regained command over their lives through this methodology.