Support group for panic attack sufferers

SAMHSA’s National Helpline | SAMHSA

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  • SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.

    Also visit the online treatment locator.

SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357) (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service), or TTY: 1-800-487-4889 is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations.

Also visit the online treatment locator, or send your zip code via text message: 435748 (HELP4U) to find help near you. Read more about the HELP4U text messaging service.

The service is open 24/7, 365 days a year.

English and Spanish are available if you select the option to speak with a national representative. Currently, the 435748 (HELP4U) text messaging service is only available in English.

In 2020, the Helpline received 833,598 calls. This is a 27 percent increase from 2019, when the Helpline received a total of 656,953 calls for the year.

The referral service is free of charge. If you have no insurance or are underinsured, we will refer you to your state office, which is responsible for state-funded treatment programs. In addition, we can often refer you to facilities that charge on a sliding fee scale or accept Medicare or Medicaid. If you have health insurance, you are encouraged to contact your insurer for a list of participating health care providers and facilities.

The service is confidential. We will not ask you for any personal information. We may ask for your zip code or other pertinent geographic information in order to track calls being routed to other offices or to accurately identify the local resources appropriate to your needs.

No, we do not provide counseling. Trained information specialists answer calls, transfer callers to state services or other appropriate intake centers in their states, and connect them with local assistance and support.

  • Suggested Resources

    What Is Substance Abuse Treatment? A Booklet for Families
    Created for family members of people with alcohol abuse or drug abuse problems. Answers questions about substance abuse, its symptoms, different types of treatment, and recovery. Addresses concerns of children of parents with substance use/abuse problems.

    It's Not Your Fault (NACoA) (PDF | 12 KB)
    Assures teens with parents who abuse alcohol or drugs that, "It's not your fault!" and that they are not alone. Encourages teens to seek emotional support from other adults, school counselors, and youth support groups such as Alateen, and provides a resource list.

    After an Attempt: A Guide for Taking Care of Your Family Member After Treatment in the Emergency Department
    Aids family members in coping with the aftermath of a relative's suicide attempt. Describes the emergency department treatment process, lists questions to ask about follow-up treatment, and describes how to reduce risk and ensure safety at home.

    Family Therapy Can Help: For People in Recovery From Mental Illness or Addiction
    Explores the role of family therapy in recovery from mental illness or substance abuse. Explains how family therapy sessions are run and who conducts them, describes a typical session, and provides information on its effectiveness in recovery.

    For additional resources, please visit the SAMHSA Store.

Last Updated: 08/30/2022

Recovery and Recovery Support | SAMHSA

Recovery and Resilience

Resilience refers to an individual’s ability to cope with change and adversity. Resilience develops over time and gives an individual the capacity not only to cope with life’s challenges but also to be better prepared for the next stressful situation. Psychological resilience, the ability to cope with adversity and to adapt to stressful life events, varies widely from person to person and depends on environmental as well as personal factors. It refers to positive adaptation, or the ability to maintain mental and physical health despite participating in stressful situations. Resilience is playing up those protective factors so they can outweigh the risk factors. Optimism and the ability to remain hopeful are essential to resilience and the process of recovery.

Because recovery is a highly individualized process, recovery services and supports must be age appropriate and offered over the life course and flexible enough to ensure cultural relevancy. What may work for adults in recovery may be very different for youth or older adults in recovery. For example, the promotion of resiliency in young people, and the nature of social supports, peer mentors, and recovery coaching for adolescents and transitional age youth are different than recovery support services for adults and older adults.

Recovery and Relationships

The process of recovery is supported through relationships and social networks. This often involves family members who become the champions of their loved one’s recovery. They provide essential support to their family member’s journey of recovery and similarly experience the moments of positive healing as well as the difficult challenges. Families of people in recovery may experience adversities in their social, occupational, and financial lives, as well as in their overall quality of family life.

These experiences can lead to increased family stress, guilt, shame, anger, fear, anxiety, loss, grief, and isolation. The concept of resilience in recovery is also vital for family members who need access to intentional supports that promote their health and well-being. The support of peers and friends is also crucial in engaging and supporting individuals in recovery.

Peer support assists individuals to engage or stay connected to the recovery process through a shared understanding, respect, and mutual empowerment. Peer support extends beyond the reach of clinical treatment into the everyday environment providing non-clinical, strengths-based support. This relationship can help lay the foundation for SAMHSA’s four dimensions of recovery.

Recovery Support

SAMHSA advanced recovery support systems to promote partnering with people in recovery from mental and substance use disorders and their family members to guide the behavioral health system and promote individual, program, and system-level approaches that foster health and resilience; increase housing to support recovery; reduce barriers to employment, education, and other life goals; and secure necessary social supports in their chosen community.

Recovery support is provided in various settings. Recovery support services help people enter into and navigate systems of care, remove barriers to recovery, stay engaged in the recovery process, and live full lives in communities of their choice.

Recovery support services include culturally and linguistically appropriate services that assist individuals and families working toward recovery from mental and/or substance use problems. They incorporate a full range of social, legal, and other services (PDF | 409 KB). that facilitate recovery, wellness, and linkage to and coordination among service providers, and other supports shown to improve quality of life for people (and their families) in and seeking recovery.

Recovery support services may be provided before, during, or after clinical treatment, or may be provided to individuals who are not in treatment but seek support services.

These services, provided by professionals and peers, are delivered through a variety of community and faith-based groups, treatment providers, schools, and other specialized services.  The broad range of service delivery options ensures the life experiences of all people are valued and represented.

For example, in the United States there are 34 recovery high schools that help reduce the risk in high school environments for youth with substance use disorders. These schools typically have high retention rates and low rates of students returning to substance use.

Additionally, SAMHSA's Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy (BRSS TACS) advances effective recovery supports and services for people with mental or substance use disorders and their families.

Find more Publications and Resources on Recovery and Recovery Support.

In Russia, a mobile application was created to help with panic attacks

Almost everyone has experienced a state of panic, and 5% of the population suffer from chronic panic disorder. The Institute for Creative Psychology, with the support of the Union for Mental Health, created the Anti-Panic app, which will help its owner reduce anxiety and cope with a panic attack.

Irina Laktyushina Health 30.08.2016

The AntiPanic mobile application is intended for those who are afraid to leave the house and be in public places, to speak in front of colleagues and unfamiliar audiences - for people suffering from panic attacks and anxiety disorders.

The Anti-Panic application contains proven techniques for dealing with panic attacks during an attack and techniques for reducing anxiety in everyday life. AntiPanic contains available information about what panic attacks are, how they occur, how to survive and cope with them. Many techniques and techniques are specially loaded in audio format, because during a panic attack it is difficult to focus on reading the text.

The application contains the game "Help the Panic", which will help the user learn to recognize panic attacks and control anxiety.

The authors of the AntiPanic app are the head of the Institute of Creative Psychology and co-chairman of the Moscow Association of Analytical Psychology, Ph. D. and Anastasia Babenko .

The application is available for free download in AppStore and Googleplay.

“Wonder! Thanks, big thanks to the developers! When I first encountered a panic attack and its symptoms, I was terribly scared. Of the people close to me, no one knew what was happening to me, I was afraid that I would die now. The psychologist explained everything to me, but it is always useful to have all this information at hand so as not to wind yourself up and quickly calm down. I wish good luck to all my comrades in misfortune in the fight against panic attacks and I send rays of kindness and gratitude to the developers! ”, The users of the application share their reviews.


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Why you should know me: founder of the panic attack support community, Nazi Goryunova



4 min. to read

Why you should know me: Nazi Goryunova, founder of the panic attack support community

Anastasia Barysheva

Childhood was not easy, like most children of the 1990s, then, apparently, I received the first injuries, which later resulted in anxiety and panic attacks.

I am a translator with my first higher education, a journalist with my second, and a marketer with my third. This is probably not the end - now I am experiencing an acute shortage of knowledge in the field of psychology.

Everything in life developed naturally, even, one might say, successfully, until in March 2018 I experienced the first panic attack. She covered me when I was expecting coffee to go. I was thrown into a fever, I wanted to rip off my coat, sweater and skin. It was unbearably hot and cold at the same time, the world blurred before my eyes, I felt helplessness and animal fear. Consciousness was confused, I came to my senses only in a taxi. When I got home and analyzed my lifestyle, I came to the conclusion that it was just malnutrition, work stress, and dehydration. But the next day I did not go to the office: the world did not inspire confidence.

Thus began my three-year journey down the path of anxiety and panic attacks.

In the first year I called them seizures, because I could not understand at all what was happening to me. I lost a lot of time because of the information hunger on this topic.

I kept thinking that stress and malnutrition were to blame. A period of avoiding stress and diligently eating five times a day began. But anxiety increased in direct proportion to my weight.

The clue was about the seventh panic attack with an ambulance call, awareness and acceptance of the problem. It entailed agoraphobia, leaving work, fear of any form of transport, and fear of going anywhere unaccompanied.

Over the next six months, I never managed to overcome myself and go to the subway, I never left the house alone. Panic attacks visited me up to four times a day, even at home. I missed dozens of exhibitions, trips, meetings and important events. The thought often sounded in my head: “Now I am disabled.” I caught condescending pity in the eyes of my husband, misunderstanding in the voices of friends, condemnation in the SMS of loved ones, and I realized that I can’t do this anymore.

The idea of ​​creating a community for "like me" settled in my head when I unsuccessfully tried to find help - a psychotherapist, a support group, some advice. Everything I could find related to protective and avoidant behavior, but this was clearly not my way.

The community was born at a time when I was 80% free from panic attacks. It quickly gained (and is gaining) an audience without advertising, giveaways, moms, dads and loans. The guys who came to the Instagram account simply reposted the posts to their pages and wrote: THIS IS IT! THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I FEEL.

The Anxiety Support Center ecosystem now includes a blog, support chat, and support group meetings.

An Instagram blog where I post techniques to stop panic attacks, recommendations from psychotherapists and stories of people who managed to get out of the circle of panic attacks. And it helps people realize that they are not alone or special.

We have a very special support chat in telegram. It is special because in four months I have never moderated it.
At the moment of a panic attack, any participant can write to the chat and get support from people with the same problems! And the guys are very willing to help each other! Plus, a huge benefit of the chat is that people, reading about the fears of others, can look at themselves from the outside. It's a self-healing ecosystem.

Third, support group meetings. When panic attacks come into a person's life, he falls out of society - mass events are no longer available to him, sometimes he cannot even meet with those he loves, travel becomes impossible. Support group meetings are aimed at returning children to society. We meet with art therapists, psychotherapists, go to yoga, later we can even afford to travel.

One of my important tasks is to help people communicate their problem to others in the right way. At the beginning of my journey, I heard only a condescending "pull yourself together." Well, and a bunch of other tips that made me feel sick, strange and weak.

Panic attacks and the anxiety disorder that often accompanies them are not a joke, not overly dramatic, and most importantly, not our choice! This is not just an unreasonable fear, it is an animal horror, accompanied by physiological manifestations - hand tremors, chest heat, dizziness, blurred vision, heart palpitations, derealization, nausea, and about 60 other individual symptoms.

This is not because we think too much or overwork ourselves, this is a real malfunction of the amygdala (the brain's amygdala). But! Despite the fact that panic attacks are like all the diseases of the world at the same time, they are perfectly treated. Awareness of their safety, coupled with psychotherapy and possibly medication, is the ideal way to solve the problem.

The fact that places in support groups are filling up all of a sudden shows that people really, really need it. I do not welcome the so-called warm-ups in stories, I do not impose or persuade you to come to a meeting. Everyone should “mature” and sensibly assess their capabilities. At the peak of my agoraphobia, I would hardly have found the resources to attend even such an environmentally friendly event.

In the first month of the blog's life, I answered direct messages until late at night. People wrote words of gratitude, people asked for help. I was simply not enough for everyone, but I had no right to leave a single message unanswered. That is why I decided to create a support chat in telegram.

Many guys from my suggestion have found their ideal psychotherapist, because I am ready to support everyone, but I cannot provide psychological assistance.

Learn more