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Diary of Anxiety Symptoms / Panic Attacs

Abstract: Self-monitoring of symptoms of the anxiety disorder is one of the most important steps in cognitive-behavioural therapy of anxiety disorders.

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Diary of Anxiety Symptoms / Panic Attacs

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Question(s): 
Written by: Martin Winkler
First version: 22 Jul 2008.
Latest revision: 27 Jul 2008.

What is self-monitoring or a diary of anxiety symptoms / panic attacks?

Answer:

Self-monitoring of symptoms of the anxiety disorder is one of the most important steps in cognitive-behavioural therapy of anxiety disorders. With a diary of symptoms (and situations, thoughts and responses to the panic syndrome) you get a closer insight about your problem and can talk with your therapist in detail about your very personal problem.

Very often the monitoring helps to reduce catastrophic thoughts and imagination about a continuous worsening of the severity of the symptoms or major health related consequences (e.g. getting an heart attack, stroke or severe breathing dysfunction). With this kind of self-monitoring most patients learn to identify specific thoughts or situations that trigger the anxiety.

There are different ways to start a self-monitoring. Talk about individual solutions with your therapist.

One very good online version of a diary for panic attacks can be used for free: The Canadian webproject The Panic Center offers this tool together with a comprehensive questionnaire about anxiety and depression, a great cognitive behavioural therapy program (for free!) and a forum for self-help issues.

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