Thank you for visiting. I created The Panic Button as a virtual meeting place for those suffering from, working through, curious about, or seeking to support people with anxiety and panic symptoms. Whether you or someone you love had a panic attack once, experiences high levels of panic or anxiety every day, or are simply intrigued by this very common and relatively emerging condition– Welcome! The Panic Button is a place for us to gather, share experiences, catch up on the latest research, empathize, question, and learn about ourselves, each other, and the crazy world we live in. I hope you can laugh, share, read, and find solace here, perhaps finding new friends, new knowledge, and tools for discovery and healing.
I was diagnosed with Panic Disorder With Agoraphobia (enough to scare anyone) at age 12, during the summer of transition between middle school and high school. With a varied array of tools from therapy to medication to breath and meditation, and with the love and aid of my father, a distinguished psychiatrist, I was able to fully recover from my symptoms, graduate from high school, and begin intensive training as a ballet dancer in New York City. Four months after my father’s death in August of 2012, I started getting panic attacks again, and began a journey of recovery, self-discovery, and growth that continues to this day. I wanted to create a place where people like me could come for help and to share advice, to talk about their experiences, and to raise awareness for this very common (and often misunderstood) condition. So many helpful websites have a stark, clinical feeling. My hope is that The Panic Button will be a safe, useful forum that doesn’t make anyone feel disabled, judged, or stigmatized. Anxiety, like just about everything, is on a spectrum, and there is so much about it that has yet to be fully understood. A diagnosis means little when held up to the complexities and plasticity of human experience, yet so many in the medical profession confine us to these narrow margins. You are more than any single word, more than your symptoms and the perceived limitations they create. Let’s give a voice and a face to this condition, so that when we and those we love are ready to join the world, it will be waiting with compassion, information, and understanding.
For My Father, Dr. Otto M. Marx, MD, DLFAPA