Radio interview with Barry McDonagh

Barry’s interview on Blog Talk Radio

Topics covered are

  • how to best to end panic attacks
  • why  most people are getting the wrong advice
  • how anxiety can be transformed into something positive


My Panic Attack in a Public Place

We have talked many times about the art of acceptance and how if you truly accept your anxiety, you will no longer suffer. One of the most effective ways to lower your anxiety is to increase your acceptance of the sensations you feel. The more acceptance you have of your anxiety, the faster your recovery. Everyone has different methods in how they learn to accept. Continue reading to find out how John accepted his anxiety symptoms in a public place: 

‘Last Week My Wife And I Were At A Comedy Show, Everyone Is Obviously Laughing Having A Good Time. While I Noticed A Tense Feeling Creeping In. I Really Couldn’t Concentrate On What Was Being Said, Kind Of Like The Volume Was Turned Down. What I Did Next Has Taken Some Practice, And It’s Not Coping. I Call It “Letting Go”. I Recognized It Was Anxiety, I Told Myself I Have Been Through This A Million Times, The Choice Is Mine. Do I Want This To Escalate Or Do I Want To Have A Good Time. And I Actually Answer Myself In My Head. “A Good Time”. Then Let It Go! I Do This By Imagining  The Stress Draining From The Top Of My Head All The Way Down To My Feet, Like I Pulled The Plug In A Drain. One Way I Practice This Is By When IM Not Anxious I Visualize Relaxing Every  Muscle, One At A Time From Top To Bottom. With A Lot Of Practice I Am Able To Do This Now In A Few Seconds. I Literally Feel A Warm Rush When I Do It Now. Then I Feel A Second Warm Rush Of CalmA Few Seconds After I Get Back To What I Was Doing. This Way, IM Not Avoiding Any Of The Sensations, Rather Just Letting Them Go. If I Try To Cope And Make Them Go Away, They Get More Intense For Me. This Way I Feel That I Took Them Head On, And I Gives Me A Good feeling Not A Feeling Like “When Are They Going To Come Back?”. I Hope This Helps. I Does Take Some.Practice But It Starts Working Instantly! Even From The First Try. Good Luck, You Can Do This!


It is evident that John has been practicing the Panic Away techniques. Similar to the 21-7 countdown, John has decided to take matters into his own hands, gain control over his anxiety and let it go. He is not ignoring the sensations and urging them to go away. Instead he is accepting the sensations, focusing on every detail in his body and allowing the symptoms to fade away. Thanks for sharing this John! 


I remember also wondering if people did really get better, or was this just a lie?

A Panic Away member visited the forum again after a long time of being absent. In 2012, she  described herself as a  ’wreck’, someone who was ‘afraid of her own shadow’. It’s 2014, and the reason she has not been on the forum is because she has been busy enjoying life and experiencing new things. I hope reading stories such as this will give some of you hope and encouragement. Know that you do not have to live your life as a ‘wreck’ any longer. 

‘Just dropping in to say hello. For those of you who don’t know me, I was a wreck back in March 2012. I changed from a confident person to being afraid of my own shadow overnight. I think you could safely say I feared everything. I wasn’t really plagued by panic attacks as once I’d done the 21 second count down once, I knew there was nothing to be afraid of. The places my brain took me though, is another story altogether and I think I had about every anxious thought you could have and if I didn’t already have it, I soon added it to my endless list of ‘what ifs’ when reading about other people’s thoughts!

This forum came along just at the right time for me and I cannot thank Panic Away and the Forum enough for giving me the support I needed to stop, take check of myself and learn to retrain my brain. First and foremost, just give up the fight! Don’t expect anxiety to just up and go. There is a process which has to be followed where you learn to live along side anxiety and make a friendship with it. I can remember being attached to the forum with people like Choose and Mary, GI Jim, Todd and a couple of other people encouraging me at all times  and I couldn’t imagine ever being one of those people who suddenly popped up and said ‘Hi, I’ve not been on the forum for a while because I’ve been busy leading my life’.  Well, today that is just exactly what has happened. I will never, ever forget just how wretched I felt in March 2012 and the journey I took to become just ‘me’ again. Not ‘me with anxiety’ or me ‘slowly recovering from anxiety’ just plain and simply ‘me’.  Anxiety is in all of us and every now and again I might get that warm glow or that fleeting thought, which I recognise, and I just say ‘I’m fine, thanks, nothing to worry about here’.

I remember also wondering if people did really get better,  or was this just a lie. Well, it is true. You do get better, you do live your life with a strength you didn’t have before.  For those of you who don’t know me, and think that I probably can’t have been that bad, back track through my posts and you’ll see the journey I have taken.

I pop back here to see if there is anyone I can help, because I know just how lonely and terribly frightening anxiety can feel.  To everyone, just hang in there and believe in yourself. Make friends with anxiety and go forth together. Much love to you all.  Mrs Txxx



Top Tip for Anxiety Sufferers

A Panic Away member shares a tip with us. He keeps the Panic Away program saved on his phone. When he begins to feel anxious looks back on the Panic Away material- any time, any place.panic away members shares a tip with us. He keeps the Panic Away program saved on his phone. When he begins to feel anxious looks back on the Panic Away material- any time, any place.

 The best thing that I could suggest to anyone is to put the Panic Away PDF on your iphone or any other type of Phone/PDA that can read PDF’s .

The very moment that I felt something was not right I could refer to that section of the book no matter where I was, no matter what time of day and no matter who I was with .. I could read what I need to put back in prospective, what was happening to me. I found that sometimes in the heat of an anxiety attack I would forget what to do …so I would go strait to My Iphone pull up the Panic Away search for the section I wanted to read on …and 9 times out of 10 I felt fine before I could even finish the section. Two things happen here one is reasurence from the book and the other is distraction.

 This is a great idea! Thanks for sharing with us. The combination of reassurance with distraction is perfect in helping you to overcome your anxiety.

 What is your anxiety distraction?



























An Anxiety Travel Diary

Panic Away member Jess,  went overseas for three weeks. She was nice enough to share her experience with us and give a rundown of her trip and how she coped with her anxiety. Continue reading to find out what she learnt from her trip. 

I went overseas for three weeks and arrived back on Monday morning. I’ll give you a brief rundown of my three weeks.

First week – I was normal nervous the day leading up to the flight. I didn’t eat anything all day (I left at night) because when I feel anxious I feel sick and sometimes vomit – but that’s when I have a panic attack. As soon as I left my family and walked with my friends through the departure gates, anxiety and nervousness left me and I felt excited. That’s how I was all week: excited and relaxed. I stuffed my face with the local food and ate the most I’ve eaten all year! I was so happy.

Second week – This week was hard. The trip was a study tour and my first assessment was due this week. I had to somehow fit studying in around touring and everything else and my panic got the best of me. This is when I stopped eating and started dry retching. Nevertheless, I picked myself up and did what I had to do every day – which is a big achievement for me, I kept thinking I would need to be shipped back home or I wouldn’t be able to leave the hotel because I would turn agoraphobic again. It was at this point I told my lecturer that I wanted to quit the unit.

Third week – I was still feeling really anxious but continued doing what I was meant to be doing. I opted not to drop out of the unit and started to prepare for my last assessment. I started to relax again and dreaded coming home because I thought that once I landed back in Australia, my anxiety would increase tenfold. I was eating more this week and started to enjoy everything again. I passed the final assessment with the highest marks in the tour.

So that was my three weeks in short. And now I’m back home. I’ve learnt so much from this trip!! The big one being that I can do anything I want to and cope just fine.

Thanks for sharing Jess. You didn’t have a 100% anxiety free trip and that is ok. You went on a 3 week trip overseas and actually enjoyed it- that is a huge achievement in itself. Do not worry if anxiety comes and goes, it is important to know that there will be setbacks along the road to recovery. There will be days in the beginning when you will feel fantastic and then suddenly you will wake up one morning feeling like you have made no progress at all. Please be aware that this is normal and do not let it upset you. If you understand that setbacks are commonplace, then you can be prepared for them when they happen, and this prevents you from feeling like you have failed. 

The first thing to remember is that setbacks happen. Try to never let a setback convince you that you’re not making progress. It doesn’t mean that all your progress has been undone. In general, setbacks are inevitable, and you need to have an accepting attitude toward them.

Have you been on a trip recently? Please share your story with us :)