When looking for help with panic attacks there are three basic points you should be made immediately aware of. The first point is that panic attacks have nothing to do with mental illness.
Anxiety is a behavioral problem that can easily be corrected with the right guidance and information. That’s a really important point because many people fear that their anxiety problem is a sign of a mental illness. It is not.
The second point is that panic attacks have nothing to do with a lack of courage, in fact it is quite the opposite. People with panic attacks actually do the bravest things.
They get up each day and face their anxiety. They pick themselves up after every setback and deal with inner challenges the average person never has to face. Those close to the person experiencing anxiety have no idea how intense it can be.
I have worked with people like firemen, police officers, and soldiers who have done very brave things in their line of duty, but tell me privately that dealing with their anxiety has been the greatest challenge for them. Of course, the average person can’t understand why it’s such a big deal to drive on the freeway, or go to church, or even go shopping.
But for the person who needs panic attack help, accomplishing these things can be a massive achievement. It doesn’t make headline news, but facing your fears daily is real bravery.
The third and final point to make about panic attacks is that you are not in any danger from a panic attack. A panic attack will not harm you.
The fight or flight response that you experience during a panic attack is a built-in mechanism, going back to our cavemen days. It is there to protect you from danger, not to harm you.
Rest assured that your body’s primary goal is to keep you alive and well. Panic attacks are not your enemy; they are the result of you misinterpreting the signals your body is sending—a bit like a false alarm. Think of all the panic attacks you’ve experienced and how you’ve always come out on the other side—possibly petrified, but nevertheless alive and undamaged. Aren’t you still here, after all those attacks that convinced you that you were going to die?
So to summarize, remind yourself of these three basic points whenever seeking panic attack help.
-It is not a mental illness
-It is not a lack of bravery
-A Panic attack will not harm you