Our expert says:
Ech, some sites are so wonderful one really does feel compelled to visit them every 5 years or so ! : )
Seriously, though. Panic attacks or just sheer severe anxiety can arise for various reasons. With some versions of OCD, for instance, ( Obsesive-Compulsive Disorder ) one tends to develop really severe obsessive fears of highly unlikely ot even impossible fearful things happening - and they're often about contamination / infection, dread disease, being harmed or harming others. These are indeed "stupid thoughts", in that they come unbidden, frighten us, seem so convincing emotionally though we know intellectually they are not so. And depression is often a part of the picture.
A return to CBT may indeed be most helpful, but preferably after a proper in-person assessment by a good clinical psychologist or psychiatrist to clarify the components of the active diagnosis, and to discuss treatment options. Combining a good modern antidepressant ( also helpful in most anxiety disorders ) with CBT might be really useful. Abd do, indeed, attend to this soon, as the longer one leaves such problems unattended, the more of a grip they can develop and the harder they may become to shake off.
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