Panic attack support group

Panic disorder

The goal of treatment is to help you function well during everyday life. Using both medicines and talk therapy works best.

Certain medicines, usually used to treat depression, may be very helpful for this disorder. They work by preventing your symptoms or making them less severe. You must take these medicines every day. DO NOT stop taking them without talking with your provider.

Medicines called sedatives or hypnotics may also be prescribed.

  • These medicines should only be taken under a doctor’s direction.
  • Your doctor will prescribe a limited amount of these drugs. They should not to be used every day.
  • They may be used when symptoms become very severe or when you are about to be exposed to something that always brings on your symptoms.
  • If you are prescribed a sedative, do not drink alcohol while on this medicine.

Talk therapy (cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT) helps you understand your behaviors and how to change them. During therapy you will learn how to:

  • Understand and control distorted views of life stressors, such as other people’s behavior or life events.
  • Recognize and replace thoughts that cause panic and decrease the sense of helplessness.
  • Manage stress and relax when symptoms occur.
  • Imagine the things that cause the anxiety, starting with the least fearful. Practice in real-life situations to help you overcome your fears.

The following may also help reduce the number or severity of panic attacks:

  • Not drinking alcohol
  • Eating at regular times
  • Getting plenty of exercise
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Reducing or avoiding caffeine, certain cold medicines, and stimulants

Self Help & Support Groups

Other Self Help Resources

Anxiety UK has a range of self help books available in our online shop that many people living with anxiety have found to be of real help. We have chosen books based on member feedback and the best available medical evidence.

As an organisation, we made a substantial contribution, consulting our members for their opinions, to the production of ‘Best Practice Guidance for Self Help Guides’ for the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme. Some of the recommendations from this guidance suggested that:

  • Self help information and the approaches it is based on should be backed up by evidence from trials.
  • Not all self help information will help all individuals for all conditions. In the case of PTSD self help may be of limited value for those in distress, over more intensive psychological therapy.
  • Generally, self help information should be based around cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) principles and approaches.
  • Self help materials should be selected to match your needs, in terms of your problems and goals, and you should take into account your reading ability and your cultural background (if appropriate) when choosing self help.

Self help is a proven way to help people with anxiety. It is a technique that gives you the control over your own recovery, equipping you with skills and tools to manage your anxiety, putting these into practice in your life. Over the years, Anxiety UK has helped many people in this way – advising them of the appropriate self help guide for their anxiety condition via the Anxiety UK infoline.

It is important to bear in mind that in order for self help to be successful it requires a high level of self motivation of the individual (something that is not always possible no matter how determined you are), which is why Anxiety UK also offers therapy services, for individuals who need a bit more encouragement and support.

Support Groups

You are not alone.

If you are looking for understanding from those who know what you are facing, then a support group may be just what you are looking for. There are several support groups to aid you in finding mutual help and building coping techniques that will guide you on your journey to wellness.

Click on the name of a support group below to view the schedule of meetings for each category of support.

For a printable schedule of MHA AND COMMUNITY ORGANIZED groups, click here.

Support Groups for Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Educational Group
Topic driven discussion group for adults and families
1st & 3rd Mondays every month
7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
630 Janet Avenue, Blair Room, Lancaster, PA 17601 (Parking Lot 4, Entrance H)

Bipolar Discussion Support Group
Peer-led group for adults and families
2nd, 4th & 5th Mondays every month
7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
630 Janet Avenue, Blair Room, Lancaster, PA 17601 (Parking Lot 4, Entrance H)

Bipolar Support Group
2nd Thursdays of every month NO LONGER MEETS
Hempfield United Methodist Church

Support Groups for Depression

Finding Our Way Group
(Depression Support Group)
2nd, 3rd, 4th and, if applicable, 5th Monday 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
245 Butler Avenue, Lancaster, PA 17601 (second floor)

D.A.M.N. Group
Depression Awareness and Men’s Needs
* On Hiatus until further notice.

Moms Supporting Moms Group
This group is welcome to all moms who are struggling with emotional wellness, specifically signs and symptoms of postpartum depression and/or postpartum anxiety.

Second Wednesdays of each month from 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

An informal group meeting and play date! Thanks to the generosity of Hamilton Park UCC, we can meet in their preschool “bike room” with toys for children. Moms, babies, and young children are welcome. We have three rules: Respect confidentiality, this is a safe space/no judgement space, and please no solicitation/selling items.

Mental Health America Lancaster and the Lancaster Osteopathic Health Foundation have teamed together to offer this important support system for moms. Thank you, and together we can support each other! Please feel free to invite Lancaster County moms to join us.

Location: Hamilton Park United Church of Christ (UCC) is at 1210 Maple Avenue, Lancaster, PA 17603, 717-397-9791. Contact Amanda for more information or questions. No RSVP required. Drop in. Bring a friend and their children.

Please reach out to Support Group Coordinator, Amanda, at [email protected] and 570-561-8845 for questions or additional information.

Support Groups for Anxiety

Anxiety, Panic, and OCD Support Group
Peer-led group for adults and family members with an anxiety disorder, panic disorder or OCD disorder.
Every Thursday, a weekly group, except major holidays.
7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
245 Butler Avenue, Lancaster, PA 17601 (second floor)

Support Groups for Borderline Personality Disorder

Individuals living with BPD with occasional family educational sessions
Peer-led group for adults living with BPD. Call 717-397-7461 to learn about the schedule for extended family, educational sessions.
2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month, except major holidays.
7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
245 Butler Avenue, Lancaster, PA 17601 (second floor)

Support Groups for Suicide Loss

Survivor’s of Suicide Loss Support Group
Peer-led group for those who have lost someone close to them by suicide
1st & 3rd Thursdays
7:30 PM – 8:45 PM
St. Peter’s Lutheran Church
10 Delp Road, Lancaster, PA 17601
Contact: Kevin Eberle, 717-394-3541 or [email protected]

Parent’s of Suicide Loss Support Group
Peer-led group for those who have lost a child to suicide.
1st & 3rd Tuesdays
7 PM – 8:30 PM
St. James Catholic Church
505 Woodcrest Avenue, Lititz, PA 17543
Contact: Dawn Khamvongsa at 717-625-0010 or [email protected]

Additional Support Groups by Community Organizations

Active & Non-Active Veterans Groups

PIES (practice in emotional skills) meets Thursdays 6-7:30 PM at the Lancaster Vet Center at 1817 Olde Homestead Lane, Suite 207, Lancaster PA. Call Brian A to register at 717-283-0735.

Readjustment Support Group meets Mondays 6-7:30 PM at the Lancaster Vet Center at 1817 Olde Homestead Lane, Suite 207, Lancaster, PA. Call Chris C. at 717-283-0735 prior to attending the group for a welcome visit

Family Support Group
Facilitated by Landis Communities
For those whose lives are touched by a person with long-term mental illness
4th Sunday of each month (except December)
3:00 PM – 5 PM
Rossmere Mennonite Church: 741 Janet Ave., Lancaster, Pa. 17601
Educational Programs: 3 PM – 4 PM
Share & Care Groups: 4:10 PM – 5 PM

Sibling Support Group
Sponsored by the Arc of Lancaster Lebanon
For children ages 8-12 that have a sibling with a mental illness or disability.
2nd Mondays @ 6:30 PM. Meets September through May.
116 W Airport Road, Suite A, Lititz, PA 17543
Call Arc of Lancaster Lebanon for required registration or for questions: (717) 394-5251.

Family Support Group
Facilitated by NAMI Lancaster
2nd Tuesdays of every month 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
790 New Holland Ave through December 2019. Location to change starting in January 2020.
For more information or location, please call Vivian Spiese at 717-871-6205 or [email protected]

What to Expect at Your First Support Group

It is a big step to attend your first support group, but it doesn’t need to be scary. Here’s what you can expect:

  • MHALC’s groups are peer-facilitated, which means the group leader has been in your shoes. He or she will truly understand what you’re going through, and can provide insights and advice based on firsthand experience.
  • All groups are free and held on a drop-in basis. You don’t have to sign-up in advance, and if you attend one time and it doesn’t feel like the right fit, you don’t have to come back. However, we do recommend that you give the group a few chances, as the dynamic can change every meeting and you might find your place after a few tries.
  • All meeting groups are confidential – this helps us build an environment where individuals can be honest and open.
  • You do not have to share your story at your first meeting; you can choose to come and just listen to others share – as you may feel more comfortable hearing how others have dealt with situations that are familiar to you. Or, you should feel welcome to share if you’re ready to do so and could use a caring ear to listen to your own story.

Peer-facilitated support groups are a great place to start your recovery journey. We hope you’ll find that by hearing others’ stories, you’ll feel less alone in your experiences. Reach out today – we are here to support you.

If you have any questions regarding support groups, feel free to call MHALC at (717) 397-7461.

Student observers of Support Groups are asked to call the MHALC office to register for observations. Not all support groups are open to observers. You must be registered to attend as an observer; without a registration, you will be asked to leave the support group and return on a different evening. Thank you for your understanding.

Observation Guidelines for MHALC Support Groups

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