Disclaimer: This review has not been paid for by Panic Away. It is an unbiased, independent, third-party review of the program, written in order to educate consumers on whether or not it is a good option.
Stress is a huge part of life, but stress can get out of control and lead to anxiety. Anxiety can manifest itself in the form of panic attacks, which are debilitating and difficult to manage.
According to the Mayo Clinic , the symptoms of a panic attack can include:
- Rapid heart rate
- Chills and/or hot flashes
- Cramping, chest pain, and headaches
- Dizziness and faintness
- and more…
These symptoms are pretty tough to manage, but the ability to eliminate panic attack is what the Panic Away program offers!
What is Panic Away?
According to the introduction of the book:
“The Panic Away Program is responsible for helping many thousands of people worldwide end their anxiety disorders. You may have a problem with panic attacks, general anxiety, or related phobias like agoraphobia or claustrophobia. Whether you’ve just recently started experiencing this problem or have suffered for many years, this method will work equally well for you.”
It’s a program aimed at helping people with anxiety disorders to deal with their panic attacks, preventing them and ensuring that they can keep living their lives without having to deal with these debilitating episodes.
The Mind Behind Panic Away: Joseph Barry McDonagh
Finding information on Joe Barry was pretty tough, and it took a bit of digging to find even a few basic details.
The creator of the program attended University College Dublin, where he completed his undergraduate in…and that’s where the information ends. My research has turned up no facts on what his undergraduate was–whether psychology, psychiatry, or even horse racing.
According to one site :
Barry Mcdonagh very clearly states that he is not a psychiatrist or psychologist, having said that he has a 7 year track record as an active member of international mental health organizations and has helped over 150,000 sufferers to end their anxiety.
He suffered from panic attacks himself, which led him to study the works of Dr. Victor Frankl from the 1950s. His studies helped him to develop the Panic Away program, which we will take a closer look at below.
A Look at Panic Away
We begin the Panic Away book with a quick look at panic attack and how it manifests in people’s lives, including:
- Feeling your heart racing
- Getting the pins-and-needles sensation
- Tension of the chest and neck muscles
- Rapid and shallow breathing
- Feeling a need to escape a situation
- Shaking and trembling
- and more…
All of these symptoms of panic attacks can be pretty intense, and they can be quite debilitating. Considering the fact that they cause you to act and think irrationally, you may find yourself questioning your sanity.
Thankfully, panic attacks are highly treatable–via medication and therapy as well as through the Panic Away program.
The program is divided into three stages:
- Stage #1: Trust
- Stage #2: Accept
- Stage #3: Persist
We will explain these stages in greater detail later in the review.
What Causes Anxiety Disorders?
There are a lot of anxiety disorders, but the exact cause of these disorders aren’t known–according to both Panic Away and WebMD . These disorders aren’t the result of character flaws, poor upbringing, or personal weakness.
It is believed that a number of factors contribute to anxiety disorders, including:
- Repressed emotions
- Stress and pressure
- Strong emotions
- Chemical imbalances in the brain
- Exhaustion–physical, mental, and emotional
Panic Away promises to help deal with the results of these factors, both by dealing with the panic attacks and reducing the presence of the problems that cause the attacks in the first place.
Stage #1: Trust
This section is all about eliminating anxiety in your life, though it’s focused specifically on panic attacks. The author does say:
“If you don’t suffer from panic attacks, I would still encourage you to read through this stage, because it will assist you in your overall elimination of anxiety.”
We could all use a lot less stress and worry in our lives, right?
The section looks at a few of the more common elements of your body’s natural reaction to stress, including the fight or flight response, the physical manifestations of a panic attack, and the definition of what anxiety really is. It examines your body’s reaction to stress and anxiety, including how your heart, lungs, kidneys, stomach, and liver all act when you experience panic.
It’s an interesting look at exactly what’s going on when you suffer from the panic attacks, and helps you to understand your body better.
The One Move Technique
The One Move Technique is the trademarked Panic Away method of dealing with your panic attacks. It is a subtle method of helping you to observe the panic that is rising within you, embrace it, and use it to overcome the panic attack as it sets in.
We cannot give you details beyond this, but suffice it to say that it is a useful mental technique that can help you to deal with panic. It may sound difficult to use at first, but you’ll find that it’s pretty helpful once you get accustomed to using it every time panic sets in.
What If the One Move Technique Doesn’t Work?
As with any mental technique, there is a very real chance that the One Move Technique won’t work for you.
If it isn’t working, the book claims, it’s because you’re not doing it right. You have to follow all of the steps of the One Move Technique for it to work properly, but many people don’t see it all the way through. They stop using it when the anxiety doesn’t go away, and the lack of follow-through causes it to fail.
The advice from the author: do it right, and use it any time you find yourself panicking. It may take time, but it will help you to deal with your panic.
The One Move in Real Life Situations
For those who think, “This can’t really be practical in real life”, read this section. It gives you examples and scenarios where you may find yourself panicking, and how you can practically put into action the techniques in the book.
The scenarios include:
- Panic attack or anxiety while driving, and how to calm yourself using the One Move Technique
- The fear of leaving homes–agoraphobia–and how the One Move can help you walk out the door.
- Fear of flying, a highly common problem, and using the One Move to prevent panic attacks on planes.
- Suffering from anxiety during public speaking engagements, and the ways to calm yourself and still be able to speak.
Practical, hands-on advice to help you put the techniques in this book into practice. Very helpful scenarios in this section!
Stage #2: Accept
This chapter isn’t about accepting that panic attacks are going to be a part of your life forever, but it’s about accepting the things that would cause panic attacks in the first place.
Remember that stress, fatigue, and worry are what cause these attacks. Worries for money, family, health, and work are the most common, and they are the ones that lead to panic attacks most commonly.
You need to accept the fact that you are in certain stressful situations, and there’s nothing you can do about them. Stressing out or worrying about them can lead to panic attacks, so accepting them can help to calm you down.
In this chapter, you learn about the released calm exercises that will help you accept the situations.
Panic attacks happen entirely in your mind, so using mental exercises can help you to prevent the attacks from ever taking place.
These exercises include:
- Spending 30 minutes in the morning writing whatever comes to your mind. It’s not a diary, but it’s just a way to clear your mind of all the thoughts that can lead to stress.
- Shifting your attitudes from negative to positive and using visualization techniques to calm your mind and clear it of worries.
- Using gratitude to help calm yourself down, take a positive outlook on your life, and realize that things are nowhere near as bad as they could be.
Again, simple exercises, but helpful if you are dealing with anxiety.
While your mind causes the panic attacks, your body is the one that suffers the most. This chapter is all about using your body to calm your mind down when you have one of these panic attacks.
Some of the physical exercises taught here include:
- Deep, rhythmic breathing.
- Drinking more water to help calm you down.
- Changing your diet to reduce anxiety by balancing your pH.
- Getting more of the minerals that keep your brain producing the right neurochemicals.
The chapter also looks at a few of the medications commonly used for treating anxiety, and some of the herbal remedies/supplements that have been known to help deal with the problem.
The book highlights the importance of regular exercise, and teaches how it can help to regulate both your mind and body to prevent panic attakcs.
Thought Field Therapy
This is an interesting concept that is similar to acupuncture or acupressure.
According to Wikipedia:
Thought Field Therapy, or TFT, is a fringe psychological treatment developed by an American psychologist, Roger Callahan. Its proponents say that it can heal a variety of mental and physical ailments through specialized “tapping” with the fingers at meridian points on the upper body and hands. There is no scientific evidence that TFT is effective, and the American Psychological Association has stated that it “lacks a scientific basis.” 
The book explains TFT in some depth, and gives you practical exercises to do calm yourself down using the finger-tapping methods.
It could work, but you’d have to ask someone who has used it to deal with their anxiety. According to experts, however, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.
More on Acceptance
The book continues to look at techniques to help you accept and deal with your worries, such as:
- Taking a vacation to take your mind off the problem.
- Starting your day by getting your worries out of the way.
- Sleeping well despite your anxiety issues.
- Dealing with night panic and phobias.
Stage #3: Persist
This chapter can be summed up in a few words: “Keep trying, even if you don’t see results at first.”
Because anxiety attacks are highly mental, it’s harder to deal with them than a physical problem would be. You can go to a doctor for a broken bone, but a mind filled with worry is much tougher to treat.
The chapter warns you to expect setbacks, as there is always the risk that panic attacks will overwhelm you no matter how well-prepared you are. Setbacks can lead to more worries, which can lead to more panic attacks that you’re no making progress with your panic attacks. DON’T WORRY! Setbacks happen to everyone.
Understanding the Sensations of Panic
Some of the sensations you experience while suffering from panic attacks can include:
- Feeling like you’re going insane.
- The loss of control.
- Feeling like things are unreal.
- Thoughts that are highly disturbing.
- Problems with breathing properly.
- Passing out or fainting.
- and many more…
Understanding these sensations can help you to deal with them when they crop up.
What We Think of Panic Away
In reading over this program, I find that there is a lot in there that can be very helpful. It makes it easy to understand panic attacks, and gives readers techniques to deal with them on their own. It’s a pretty decent option for those who want to find a non-medicating way of handling their panic.
We’re Not Fond Of:
- The book layout. It’s basically large chunks of text, with no images, structuring, or layout whatsoever. It’s tough to read it all, because the paragraphs are very long. If the book was structured better, it would make for a much better read.
- The wordiness. The author makes his work very personable and relatable, giving real-life examples to help you understand panic attacks. However, he could do so with far fewer words, and the book is far longer than it needs to be.
- The techniques. Most mental techniques work to a certain extent, and it’s all about finding the one that is most effective for you. You may very well find that the techniques taught in this book can be just what you need to help you deal with the panic attacks.
- The detailed content. I like how panic attacks are explained, including the causes and symptoms of the problem. You get a lot of information on how to deal with the panic attacks, and it’s easy to read while still being very detailed.
Final Verdict: 4 Stars