Panic Attacks

Vera’s voice shook over the phone, “Can you help with my panic attacks?”

Thirty-nine years old, a recovering alcoholic sober for three months, she had been suffering from panic, depression, anxiety for about twenty years. Her long career as an alcoholic had provided only a partial escape.

When I showed her muscle testing, she thought it was silly. It took me a while to convince her that it was neither a trick nor frivolous. When I said, “Think about your panic attacks,” she tested weak. Muscle testing further revealed the panic attacks had an emotional source which we could likely resolve with E.C.C.

Her system pointed to fear, pain, and shame at age nine– when she was sexually molested by her older brother in a garage. Raised in a strictly religious family and afraid she would be punished, she told no one. Muscle testing confirmed that this was it. Her (unconscious) decisions as a result included “I’m unclean,” “There’s something wrong with me,” “I’m not lovable,” and “I deserve to be used for sex.” Her system indicated it would clear on all levels.

During the clearing she started to weep. A new Vera opened her eyes when she was done. “I feel spacey,” she said. With a strong response on the molest, muscle testing confirmed the difference inside her. Support activity was to tell her mother about it, and mail a letter to her brother. She said she would write it later, but I told her to proceed then and there. A portion of it follows:

I had the hardest time to get over this thing the last thirty years. You broke my heart and spirit by screwing with me when I was just a kid. How could you do that to a sweet innocent child? All these years I’ve been living in quiet shame, hurt, pain, and loneliness because of what you did to me. I didn’t know who to tell or how to tell. So I grew up with anger and rage because I felt so dirty and didn’t know how to deal with the shame.

She looked up and said, “I was gonna sign this letter “Your Screwed-Up Sister.” But I don’t feel screwed-up anymore. “When I said, “Think about your panic attacks,” she tested strong. Her system was telling us, I said, that the panic attacks were at this moment not a problem. Moreover, they could actually be gone for good! But it was vitally important that she follow through with the Support Activity.

Interestingly enough, she also tested strong for the two rapes she mentioned at the end of the session, at nineteen and twenty-four. I asked her to please call if she had any recurrence of the panic. That was the only time we ever met.

She called about three weeks later, and said she had a moderate recurrence of the panic. I asked her if she had shared with her mother or mailed the letter to her brother. She had done neither. I told her it was necessary to do both in order to take a stand for the change that she had made. If she didn’t do so, she was still the scared little girl who was ashamed that she’d done something wrong. She understood and agreed to complete both assignments.

I next spoke with her about five weeks later. She had a job and was still sober. Her panicky feelings had tremendously subsided after she mailed the letter to her brother and shared with her mother. I sent her a brief post-test which, compared to the pre-test, revealed that her depression had decreased by fifty percent! I invited her to return if she needed more help, but so far she seems to be doing all right.

(See also “My Favorite Patient,” and “Letter to Oprah” for other examples of the successful treatment of panic.)