Psychological Self-Help

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going out to the store, the mild fears are not difficult to deal with. But,
if you wait until you haven't left the house for 3 years, the intense
phobia has become a very difficult problem. Be mindful of that. 
Slow Me Down, Lord 
Slow me down, Lord!
Ease the pounding of my heart
By the quieting of my mind.
Steady my harried pace
With a vision of the eternal reach of time...
Help me know
The magical restoring power of sleep.
Teach me the art
Of taking minute vacations of slowing down to look at a flower;
To chat with an old friend or to make a new one...
Remind me each day
That the race is not always to the swift...
Slow me down, Lord,
And inspire me to send my roots deep
Into the soil of life's enduring values...
-Wilfred A. Peterson
Panic attacks and agoraphobia
As many as 10%--25 million Americans--will at some time
experience panic attacks, i.e. re-occurring, unpredictable, sudden,
intense, almost unbearable spells of terror (described above). Most of
these people will have only a few, widely scattered episodes, but about
1% to 2% of us will have frequent attacks and/or such intense fear of
panicking that it seriously disrupts our lives. This is called a panic
disorder. In serious cases (four or more attacks per month), it is very
disabling: associated 70% of the time with another psychiatric
disorder, often depression, suicide (20% attempt it!), alcohol abuse,
poor health, and great difficulties socially, maritally, and at work. The
risk of suicide is especially high among women who drink and started
panicking in their teens or early twenties. Yet, less than 25% seek
treatment--and it is fairly treatable. Many victims avoid treatment, like
they do other scary situations. Other victims, fearing some serious
physical disease, see an average of 10 doctors before the disorder is
correctly diagnosed. 
But because of the seriousness of a panic disorder (not just one or
two attacks) and the suicide risks (even higher than depression), it is
crucial that competent professional treatment be sought immediately.
Unfortunately, many professionals give ineffective drugs and don't use
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