I have suffered from anxiety for as long as I can remember. A few years ago, my anxiety started to become unmanageable, and my husband organized an intervention, as he feared I was becoming agoraphobic. I promised him, and my other loved ones, there and then that I would do everything I could to get better. Unfortunately, one of my biggest fears is in relation to counselors and psychologists, and I am not ready to venture out of my comfort zone and go see one of them.
However, a promise is a promise, so it was time for me to do something. As a consequence, I started to look into online programs that promise to cure anxiety, programs that advocate self-help. I figure that if they could just help me enough to get out of the house and go see a psychologist, I would be happy. There were hundreds of programs available online, but one that really caught my eye as the Panic Puzzle.
I decided to give this one a try.
PS the Panic Puzzle official manufacturer’s website is here, if you’d prefer to just go there
Where Did the Panic Puzzle Come From?
The Panic Puzzle is a creation by Rich Presta. He had various panic issues himself and combined all his personal research into the Panic Puzzle, a solution that helped him overcome his own anxiety. He spent years researching the different phobias, what panic attacks are and which types of anxiety disorders exist. He looked over 100 years of research before coming up with his own solution. His solution included modern techniques to create something that is effective and efficient as well. By the way, Rich has a free report available. It was quite an eye-opener! If you want to, you could take a look at his free Anxiety Treatment Report.
How Does the Panic Puzzle Work?
Basically, the system is a manual and also includes a huge range of other materials. This information is provided digitally, meaning that you access it as soon as your payment goes through. The information is incredibly valuable and really well put together as well. The layout is spot on, making it easy for you to understand it as you read.
It has a friendly, clear tone that is conversational, meaning you feel as if Rich Presta addresses you personally. There is no fluff or information that isn’t relevant to your situation anyway. It starts by explaining why people like you (or me) may suffer from anxiety, followed by a number of exercises that help you to identify what your “fear cycle” is. You will then get to work with a range of different techniques and exercises that work synergistic-ally. Having already studied a lot of information on anxiety myself, I recognized things such as yogic breathing exercises, operant condition and some NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) as well. However, there was also a whole lot of new information in there.
The program is of course a do it yourself, self-help program. There are a bunch of things to read, as well as to listen to and these provide you with a huge amount of information. Essentially, Presta believes anxiety is a cycle that you can break, by retraining your brain so that it responds to trigger situations in a clam, relaxed manner, rather than panicking.
The technique has four steps that are easy to understand and follow. The results are said to be immediate and if you keep up with it, you should be free from panic attacks altogether. Plus, you will learn a great amount of calming exercises that you can apply as soon as you feel anxiety coming up.
What I liked
- There are supposed to be five different thought patterns that cause panic attacks and anxiety. By knowing and understanding these, you are taking the first step towards resolving them.
- The four step technique to totally eliminate panic attacks and anxiety are really easy to use.
- You learn to retrain your mind, allowing you to respond calmly, rather than panicking.
- You will gain an understanding on what fear is.
What I Didn’t Like
I have to be honest, I have not yet been able to completely eliminate my panic attacks and general anxiety. I do feel much better and would therefore say the program is effective, but I think it promises slightly more than it can actually deliver. As such, I find it has the potential of giving people a little too much false hope. Perhaps it is designed for people who aren’t as anxious yet as what I am, maybe I should have started this program sooner. Let’s just say that I am still not ready to go see a psychologist!
The other thing is that I’m not overly keen on online programs. I understand their benefits, including the fact that you access the program as soon as your payment is through, but I love simply holding a book. Plus, when you look at the images of the program itself, it looks like an actual book and I found that quite disappointing.
Furthermore, Rich Presta is qualified to deliver this type of information because he suffered from anxiety himself, and because he did the research needed to bring together all the information in the Panic Puzzle. However, he isn’t a medically trained professional and we just have to assume that he is capable of delivering information and we have to assume that he knew how to do research and how to interpret that research. In fairness, considering how the books are written, I can only presume that he was able to do this.
Panic Miracle (another program I’ve tried) is also a great alternative to Panic Puzzle. The two are very similar programs Chris Bayliss from Panic Miracle seems to really ‘get it’ too.
Overall, I am impressed with the program, and my family is as well. As someone who suffers from anxiety, I have a tendency to always complain and invent doomsday scenarios that prove that either the program isn’t good enough, or that I am not good enough to complete it. However, I made a promise to my family and I am sticking to it. In return, they are being my support network and they have told me that they have seen a notable difference in how I conduct my day to day life. I retain a few doubts though, as mentioned above, which is why I can only give this program a 7/10. However, ask me again in a few months’ time and I may have upgraded that score. All being well, my anxiety should have improved even further by then.
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PS. I also reviewed a few other treatment programs that were tried over the years, here is one of my most recent Linden Method review.