I hate feeling trapped! Feeling trapped and helpless has, in the past, caused people to do desperate things. Me included. Unfortunately, I think that rule stands for the present and will stay constant in the future.
When you are in a tough place with your Panic Disorder, whether it is not moving forward in healing, having a setback, or having a major blowout, it feels like you will never get out of the hole you are in. I know that is no longer true, but it is hard to remember during the difficult times.
Excessive anxiety and panic does that to you. It makes your brain think there is no way out, the pain is bigger than you are. Freedom is not attainable. It’s just not worth it. That could not be farther from the truth.
It takes a lot of hard work on your part to get to a place where you can experience feeling less trapped and more “normal” (whatever that is). Feeling trapped can be less of a daily feeling and more of a rare irritation that can be dealt with. It just takes time. Something that’s hard to give when you are deeply hurting.
3 Tips To Live Successfully With Panic Disorder
I have lived with Panic Disorder & Anxiety for 36 years, some of those years were even before I was diagnosed and didn’t know what was going on. Prior to my diagnosis and several year after, I hid my disorder and the ugly Panic Attacks that came with it. This was mostly for fear of judgment (which later proved a valid concern, but that is another blog post). After I accepted I had High Anxiety and Panic Disorder, I began to start to heal. Here are some things I learned on the way to where my anxiety is more of a controlled annoyance and the Panic Attacks are few and far between!
1. Understand that there will always be “good days” and “bad days” or if you prefer, “good moments” and “bad moments” and that is OK! Nothing is perfect, especially life, but if you accept the bad with the good, you will find that the good moments are that much sweeter. This can be used for motivation to work through the tough moments and come out on the other side smiling!
2. Learn to recognize your “Triggers”. Many people who have panic attacks have triggers. Triggers are what I call the things that you know could (or will) make you have a panic attack or a lot of anxiety. Once you identify these “triggers”, you can work to conquer them or at least take extra steps to control your anxiousness. (See Note Below)
3. If you can’t change your situation, try changing your perspective. Sometimes you just can’t avoid anxiety. Let’s face it, anxiety is a part of life and everyone experiences it. The best way to work through anxiety is to change your perspective. If you are in your home and start feeling anxious, try relaxing outside or go for a walk. If you are at a party and are standing/sitting in one spot, move to another location. Take some slow, deep breaths and think positive thoughts. Ground yourself however you can and you can stop that panic attack from happening.
There is more to controlling your anxiety and Panic Disorder then this but it’s a good start.
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Till Next Time,
Rebecca & The Gang
Finding Our New Normal
NOTE: In some cases, you can avoid the trigger but generally, this is not a good idea. This is because if you avoid one situation, then another, then another, it won’t be long before you won’t be going anywhere, doing anything or living life. I know this for personal experience.
On the other hand, if a trigger is huge and you don’t have to face it for everyday life, then maybe it’s ok to avoid it periodically or try using another avenue. For example: Flying is horribly difficult for me. Luckily I only have to do it once every 5 or so years. My oldest was fine going to public school until the Panic Disorder she inherited from me (your welcome daughter) kicked in and then walking into a public school building (or any building at the time) was just as terrifying for her as flying is for me. So we altered the situation by homeschooling her. She has made great strides in dealing with her disorder. She still is home schooled, but now can she walk in to our new church with us most Sundays (we now attend a very large church of about 3,000 people which is a lot for KK to handle but she does well fighting through it and even enjoys our time there. Again we “alter” the situation a little by going to an overflow room where very few people are. This is all to help her work through her anxiety and learn to control it. Eventually, we will move to the sanctuary which holds about 400 people.)