For James Henry, a psychiatry resident at UC San Francisco, the question is not just theoretical. While a medical student at UC San Diego, Dr. Henry noticed a shortcoming in the treatment of anxiety— during moments of extreme stress, people are most apt to forget mindfulness strategies. This observation led to the development of an iPhone app, Let Panic Go, that helps to guide the user through a panic attack.
The program uses a synthesis of mindfulness, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and breathing biofeedback. Initial users have indicated that the program, by redirecting awareness to the very thoughts and sensations they were trying to avoid, paradoxically diffuses the experience of anxiety. One reviewer notes “by the end of it I felt like I had a much clearer perspective about what was going on…it will be a relief knowing that I have this with me in my pocket.” For more information on this app, visit www.letpanicgo.com or click here for a link to Let Panic Go at the iTunes store, where you can read further user reviews or purchase the program.
(Note: While the UCSD Center for Mindfulness consulted with Dr. Henry on the development of Let Panic Go, we do not have a financial interest in the product.)