I'd like you to look back at your first experience with irrational anxiety or panic. What caused it? I mean, what REALLY caused it. Do not bluff yourself at this point. It is very important that you be completely honest with yourself about what had been happening in your life and what you were doing and thinking at the very moment that it occurred. This will form the foundation for your healing. If you build a faulty foundation, everything that you build on top will be fruitless.
Albert Brooks deals with anxiety problems in almost every one of his movies. Only someone who has experience the internal conflict would see this clearly.
Generally, people who experience problems with anxiety and panic are people who are of particular personality types. Perfectionists and pleasers are examples of the type of people who are especially prone to mood disorders of these categories. And, most of the time, the person is dealing with some source of internal conflict or stressor that is not being successfully dealt with.
Many books you will read and many questionnaires you will complete deal specifically with the number and severity of major life events in a specific timeframe (usually one year). While I believe that this is relevant, I believe that the way one deals with these life events is key in curing the condition. And, if the situation was not dealt with in a comfortable way initially, then I feel the person needs to repetitively work through that same life event in their mind using a different path "" a different decision "" one that they ARE comfortable with.
Causes for internal conflict: Unresolved feelings following the death of a family member or friend Unhappiness with current job situation Unhappiness with current relationship situation Confusion about sexual orientation...