What’s Causing My Anxiety Attacks?

Tuesday, 21 May 2013 10:14 AM

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Question: I’m a man of 48 who recently started to suffer from anxiety attacks. Can you tell me what causes them? What can I do to get over them? Sometimes they last for five hours.
 
Dr. Hibberd’s answer:
 
Anxiety attacks have a constellation of causes. Five-hour episodes may involve medications or foods you eat. Consider eliminating alcohol and additives. Make sure you’re doing something to alleviate stress and are sleeping well. Getting regular exercise at least three times a week can lower anxiety. So can minimizing alcohol and non-prescription drug use.
 
I’d recommend you make an appointment to see your doctor to be screened for anxiety, depression, and mood disorder, as well as any underlying physical disorder, such as thyroid disease. Expect some basic blood tests for chemistry and thyroid function.

You might also consider asking for a referral to a psychiatrist for biofeedback training and cognitive behavioral therapy that will help you live comfortably without the expense and side effects that sometimes accompany medication.
 

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