I am always anxious and have been this way for the last 7 years. What can I do to get a break from this anxiety?
Without talking to or knowing your sister, I would not know the root cause of her panic attacks; past or recent events that triggered stress, anxiety, actual fear may be the cause, or even just imagined fears. But once one has experienced the horrible feelings of a panic attack, it begins to create its own anticipatory anxiety, which then predisposes one to more panic attacks. One begins to fear fear itself, and the monster grows exponentially. Without professional treatment, it is likely to continue and/or get progressively worse. Psychiatrists and anxiolytics can certainly help, but medications simply dull the amygdala, which is actually part of the memory system (it stores emotional memories), so dulling it or anesthetizing it doesn't help it to learn how to overcome the original fearful stimulus, and there are side effects to anti-anxiety medications. Cognitive-behavioral techniques and exposure techniques actually rewire the anxious brain better. I would recommend she read the book Rewire the Anxious Brain and Dr. Schwartz's book, Brain Lock. Both books can be found on Amazon or Barnes & Noble. I recommend she find a psychologist and start by reading those books. Being afraid to go to treatment will likely only prolong the anxiety and panic attacks.