Patty’s Story

 For over 31 years I suffered from life restricting phobias, panic attacks and agoraphobia.  The decisions I made in life were largely “fear-based”.   Relationships, career changes, and goals were always set around “what if” thinking.  What if I failed, what if the elevator gets stuck, what if I panic and someone sees me, what if I embarrass myself, what if I get stuck in traffic and have a panic attack, what if I get stuck on the bridge, what if I have to speak in front of a group and get anxious, what if they shut the door and I get panicky, what if I faint, what if I can’t breathe, what if I choke, what if I get sick and die, what if I lose control, what if I go crazy,  what if…………..?  That didn’t even include the horrible intrusive thoughts that would pop into my head causing anxiety and panic. 
Sound familiar?  Do you or someone you know suffer from any of the above fears?  Good news.  You have come to the right website!  I am a self-proclaimed “Expert” on the subject of fear and all of its effects.  After suffering for over 31 years, there isn’t anything I haven’t either gone through, thought of or experienced when it comes to panic attacks, phobias and anxiety.  I say that with complete confidence. 
There were times in my life that I pushed through the fear and anxiety, and life became more bearable.  (We, who suffer from panic attacks and anxiety, are very creative about adapting, in order to just survive  the discomfort that we feel).  But, we always live on the edge.  Waiting for that “Boo” voice to scare us again.  I would always pray that God would help me or heal me.  Remember, there are no atheists during a panic attack!  I felt that if I had enough faith or lived according to God’s word that I could handle it.  I questioned my faith because the panic attacks and phobias would often take over my life.  But then I started to realize, if I am sound asleep and come straight out of bed, gasping for breath, sweating in a blind panic, how could that be a result of not having enough faith? There had to be a physical and emotional component to anxiety and panic attacks as well. As stress built up, my coping skills became weaker and my life became more and more restrictive.  I finally had to quit my job as a claims manager for a major insurance company.   I found myself becoming increasingly housebound until it became too difficult to grocery shop or go to the mall.  I always had to have a “safe place” to retreat or a “safe person” with me.  A “safe person” is someone you trust to help you in case the fear and anxiety becomes too overwhelming.  My life had become almost unbearable. I became totally dependent on my husband.  Thankfully, he was very supportive.  THEN, my whole life changed!!!
 I attended a “Phobease Anxiety Class”.  It described the class as helping people with phobias, panic attacks, OCD, PTSD and anxiety”.  Because of my agoraphobia, my husband (safe person) accompanied me.  As I entered the room, I found about 30 other people attending the class!  Over the years I thought I was the only one who suffered from this disorder so I suffered in silence hoping no one would learn my secret. In this class, I found men and women, doctors, lawyers, construction workers, teachers, homemakers, police officers!  As the class began, Dr. Howard Liebgold started the class by impressing upon us that we were not crazy, we were not neurotic, and we were not psychotic.  We were phobic and phobias were easy to cure!!! ( Dr. Liebgold was a medical doctor with Kaiser and suffered over 31 years with severe claustrophobia and agoraphobia.   He attended a class called TERRAP and systematically conquered all of his fears.  He than began the Phobease Class at the Vallejo, California Kaiser Hospital over 35 years ago. He had graduated about 15,000 students with a 90% success rate before his retirement.) After hearing Dr. Liebgold tell our class that we could be cured, I was determined to do whatever it took to be free from my panic disorder and agoraphobia.  I attended all 10 classes.  I knew I was on my way to being cured and free from panic attacks! By the end of the 10 weeks I was about 75% cured!  After all, I had this disorder for over 31  years, so I knew it would take a little more than 10 lessons to systematically conquer all of the phobias I had collected over the years.  My story goes on. I took the Phobease class over 20 years ago.  Not only was I cured, but also my whole life has changed for the better.   It took courage, faith and determination to challenge each and every one of my phobias. I learned that a panic attack would not “kill” me, and they were time limited.  I knew that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. Philippians 4:13.  As a result of hard work and determination I was CURED!!! 
I knew that from what I had learned I could help others.  With Dr. Liebgold’s permission, I have been teaching Phobease classes, holding seminars and meeting with students one on one for the past 20 years. The success rate of graduates has been phenomenal! I have had people take my classes that can now travel far away from home, fly in planes, use elevators, do public speaking, no longer fear vomiting or fainting, make important job changes, live alone, recover from panic attacks, go out on dates, go over bridges, look out a window in a high rise building, travel alone, etc.
 Now the GOOD NEWS! I have started this website to help others. As a Panic Attack Coach and Phobease Coach, I have started teaching the 10 lessons online.  I also have been coaching students all over the country by phone, emails and correspondence.  Now is the time to expand the Phobease Classes on the Internet in order to reach more students, so they too can experience “Freedom from Fear”!   I know what it is like to finally travel all over the country.  Fly from one place to the next.  Talk in front of a lot of people.  Ride elevators.  Cross bridges.  Travel alone anywhere I want!  Get stuck in traffic and use it as a time to relax instead of fear rehearse.  My wish is that anyone suffering with panic disorder, phobias or anxiety will overcome their fears and live free. That is why I have devoted my life to helping my students.  Remember, it is hard work but it can be done!  You have to want it!   I would love to work with you and help you find joy and peace.