How to Fight the Flu Panic

April 29, 2009 While official reports from the CDC say the number of cases of swine flu in the United States has grown to about 65, medical professionals are receiving floods of calls for concerned patients who are worried that they too have the swine flu. While the public is concerned about the possible contraction of the swine flu, Dr. Paul Dobransky, a clinical psychiatrist from Chicago shares his tips to help people to stay calm and not panic.
  • Dr. Paul says that it's a natural reaction for people to feel threatened and frightened by such a public health scare like the swine flu especially with the extensive news coverage and unfamiliar nature and unknown details about the cause and detection of the virus.
  • The single, most powerful advice for people dealing with panic is to suppress any sensational or catastrophic thinking. To do this, Dr. Paul recommends focusing on habitual tasks to help avoid negative thoughts of the imagination. Focus on habits such as following medical professionals' recommendations to wash your hands frequently or community recommendations to avoid overpopulated crowds and traveling to Mexico.
  • Dr. Paul also recommends focusing on the facts of the progression of the swine flu. We are learning more and more every day about the origin of this virus, who is infected and what symptoms to look out for. By looking to credible health resources such as Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (, you can get up-to-date information about the progression of the swine flu so you are in control of the knowledge you receive and this will help calm your nerves.
  • Dr. Paul also suggests focusing on the "probability" of the virus over the "possibility". "The probability of becoming infected is much lower than the potential possibility, and when preventive measures have been taken, probability is what matters most. The fact is there are hundreds of millions of people in the U.S. and fewer than 100 have currently been diagnosed as infected. This probability should help calm people's fears until more drastic probabilities have been revealed.
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    Paul Dobransky, M.D. is a board-certified psychiatrist, public speaker and relationship expert who has treated more than 10,000 patients in 15+ years in clinical psychiatric care. Journalists and clients worldwide have sought Dr. Paul's advice on dating, relationships and all aspects of human psychology. He is the author of two non-fiction books: The Secret Psychology of How We Fall in Love and The Power of Female Friendship. Dr. Paul pioneered Minds, a new, patent-pending approach to understanding relationships, mood problems and stress. Dr. Paul's seminars, weekly newsletter, and ebooks teach men and women, young and old, how to apply MindOS to solve everyday problems as they relate to psychology in relationship or business arenas. Dr. Paul also has two websites: for men and for women. Dr. Paul has been a staff writer for Maximum Fitness Magazine, and he has composed articles in Men's Health, Maxim, Men's Journal, Men's Fitness, NY Times, USA Today.

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