If you have ever had a panic attack, or know someone who has, it’s a pretty terrifying experience! You feel like you’re trapped in a prision that’s your own body, ridiculed by fear. Panic attacks come in 3 Phases:
Phase 1) Sumpthin’ Just Ain’t Right…
You struggle to fall asleep but wake up early, trouble focusing on the tasks right in front you, possible stomach pains or trouble with bowel movements (constipation or diahreah), headaches, possible facial ticks, overall feeling of unease.
Phase 2) Something is definitely wrong! Queasiness, light-headedness, feeling of being trapped, migraine headaches, overwhelming feeling of indecision, panic, and unease.
Phase 3) Possible fainting, constant feeling of distress or nausea. Incapacitated, unable to move or function. You may be unable to get out of bed without feeling faint, Abnormal breathing, heart palpitations, hair loss. The above phases 1&2 magnified.
After reading all of these horrific symptoms, would you believe me if I told you your mind is TRYING very hard to tell you something? And your body is simply reacting… Well believe it or not, these symptoms are NOT to be ignored! Or medicated!!! They are the smoke billowing from the volcano…Indicating serious combustion is on its way! The phases listed are based on my personal experinece, so I know first hand how horrific it is to experience any and all of the listed symptoms. I am pleased to say I am now free from experiencing Phases 2 & 3, and rarely experinece even Phase 1. If you want to be free as well…read on!
Ok, so first of all, pat yourself on the back for reading this article!! I remember feeling hopeless and depressed as a result of not getting the help and understanding I needed. I learned that stress is the #1 killer in the U.S and if I kept going down this crazy road I would eventually check myself into the looney bin, or else just hop on the crazy train…We can all imagine our own version of what that looks like. For me: self medicating with alchohol, and who knows what else…Not caring for my kids, walking away from my faith, etc. We all know what our own version looks like, for some people its over eating, over exercise, video gaming, working overtime, binging on Netflix, or vacationing. None of these things are helpful because the underlying problem that’s causing the panic is lying dormant…much like a volcano…ready to blow!
So how do you stop these symptoms from attacking you? Start with the source by asking yourself these 3 questions:
1. What am I fearing?
2. Is this a valid fear?
3. Who can help me?
1. I am fearing I do not have money to make my bills this month.
3. God, and His representatives.(Brothers or Sisters in the Lord).
I used this example because it was my biggest fear…”lack”. Not having enough, my mind would immediately travel at lightening speed to: food-stamps and homelessness, and my kids being taken away from me. What’s your lightening thought? Is it that if you mess up again at work you’ll lose your job? Then end up disappointing your family, losing your house, wife, and kids? Embarassed that you couldn’t cut it? All of the lightening thoughts are presumptions…The fact that you may lose your job may be valid, but the lightening assumptions that follow are NOT valid. We cannot presume what’s going to be the result of our faults and failures at every turn. That would make YOU God, last time you looked in the mirror, were YOU the creator of the Universe? If yes, go ahead and call that looney bin now…
Be sure you are actually writing down the fear to see if it indeed really IS vaild (something like 80% of our fears are completely invalid to begin with); making us feel ridiculously comforted when we write down that we think secret agents may be following us, or we are living in a house that’s haunted! Lastly, list 2-3 supporters who aren’t going to critisize you, or your choices, but lift you up and give you the tools you need to minimize the panic, not feed it! You do NOT want a sympathizer like your Mom who is going to encourage you to go get on pills to help you. But rather, a Christian who has seen a battle or two and has scars to prove it! This could be a Pastor or Christian Counselor, a friend, or leader in your local church. You probably won’t have to look far to find someone who can overcome panic as it affects more people than we are willing to admit in the church.
Ok, you have written down your valid fear, and a couple of people who can help (with God’s help)…now what? An expert on panic attacks, Patrick Doyle (check him out in YouTube) says to “conquer whatever is knocking at your door first“. The Holy Spirit will show you one fear at a time, and as you get quiet before Him, the root of why you’re fearing that thing; and how to trust God that He will help you (The Holy Spirit is our helper) will become clearer. Remember Jesus is the Prince of Peace, not the condemner. He will show you how to Cast Your Care on the Lord. I had a valid fear…several actually, over and over again, usually first thing in them morning, tapered off throughout the day, then again in the evening. As I continued to do this simple ten minute practice (I even closed my eyes and pictured the care being given out of my hands and at God’s feet) I got free-more and more every day!! I stopped waking up with heart palpitations and began waking up grateful to be alive and excited to spend time in the Word of God. He doesn’t want us to have fear, He died so we wouldn’t have to experience fear ever again. Jesus said: “The thief comes to steal, and to kill and destroy, but I came that you would have an abundant and rich life.”(John 10:10) Experiencing panic is on no level, by any means abundant, or rich!! So why not lift up that volcano, see what’s under there, and get FREE!!!