Panic Away is an ebook by Barry Joe McDonagh that contains a programme designed to help panic disorder sufferers deal with their panic attacks and overcome the debilitating condition. The book is sold on a number of websites and particularly affiliate sites that make money from commission, which can be off-putting to potential buyers (these sites tend to us a LOT of hyperbole to force a sale).
In this Panic Away review then, we’ll look at the method that is proposed by Barry and at whether the book genuinely has any merit.
How Panic Away Works
Barry is not a psychologist or doctor but rather someone who suffered with anxiety himself. When trying to find treatment in ‘psychological’ books, he decided that the advice was sub-par and focused more on dealing with the symptoms in the short-term rather than addressing the root cause of the problem (i.e. with things like ‘breathing techniques’).
Instead then, he followed the advice of Viktor Frankl (another psychologist) and came to the belief that the problem was people ‘fearing the fear’.
The bulk of the book then focusses on learning to ‘allow’ the symptoms to happen rather than trying to fight against them (which simply makes the body get more worked up). It also includes a ‘CALM’ method (community support, acceptance, lifestyle changes, meaning) and a ’21-7 technique’ which means counting down for 21 seconds and then engaging in some kind of activity for 7 minutes.
Does Panic Away Help?
So do the techniques outlined in Panic Away work?
The good news is that they probably do to some extent. It’s certainly true that breathing techniques alone are not going to permanently get rid of panic attacks and panic disorder. ‘Fearing the fear’ is indeed part of the problem and learning to almost ‘allow’ the effects to happen is a good strategy.
But while all this is true, there are also some aspects of this strategy that are a little less impressive.
For starters, the implication that this is in anyway ‘new’ or particularly insightful is misleading. While some psychologists and some writers do indeed recommend breathing techniques, the main treatment for panic attacks and anxiety disorders is CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy). Cognitive behavioral therapy is actually all about addressing the root cause of the problem and helping the patient to restructure their thought processes as they relate to stressful situations. There is a lot of evidence supporting the effectiveness of CBT and the techniques used here are certainly more refined and more likely to be effective than the ones outlined in this book.
What’s more, Panic Away will run you as much as $297 depending on where you buy it from. This is no doubt a cynical attempt by some marketers to take advantage of a desperate target audience. And it’s particularly inexcusable when you consider that information on the more effective CBT is available completely free of charge.
So to conclude this Panic Away review, what is the verdict?
Well basically, don’t waste your money. While the ideas in this book aren’t bad per say, they are also far from revolutionary. In terms of ‘value for money’, it’s hard to see how you could possibly justify the expense. Steer clear!