ARMI, PATIENT: There was a point when I wouldn't even book a flight. I just would say, "I'm not going to that wedding." I missed two major weddings for, you know, good friends
ANNOUNCER: Armi suffers from severe fear and anxiety which can be debilitating.
LINDA SAPADIN, PhD, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST, AUTHOR: A fearful lifestyle is when fear becomes part of your life, a big part of your life. You live your life with conscious recognition of all the things that are dangerous, and therefore you really constrict your thinking because you say, "Ah, I couldn't do that. I won't even think about that. Let's not even go there."
ANNOUNCER: In some cases, excessive fear can lead to panic attacks.
LINDA SAPADIN, PhD, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST, AUTHOR: A panic attack is something that comes on very intensely, and most people feel like they're dying and the vast majority of the time they go to the hospital and they think they're having a heart attack, and it's a panic attack.
ARMI, PATIENT: I called 911. I was like, "I don't what's happening. I don't know what's happening." And I literally was frozen.
ANNOUNCER: But there are ways to overcome fear, anxiety and panic attacks.
LINDA SAPADIN, PhD, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST, AUTHOR: The treatment for excessive fear is definitely psychotherapy, occasionally medication with that. Now, the type of psychotherapy that's best is called cognitive behavioral modification. Cognitive means changing how you think. Behavior modification is changing how you act.
ARMI, PATIENT: Now I purposely make plans with people that live further away. I even made a trip out to California to meet some cousins that I hadn't met in years.
ANNOUNCER: If you find yourself suffering from excessive fear or panic attacks help is out there.
LINDA SAPADIN, PhD, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST, AUTHOR: I look at therapy as an educational process, you're getting like private lessons on emotions, communication, enhancing your sense of self and self-confidence - all the things that you can do to improve your life.
ANNOUNCER: Thanks for joining us on today's Once Daily.