According to top psychologists and psychiatrists, repetitive panic attacks, known as Panic Disorder, is the highest anxiety disorder on the charts with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) coming in a tight second. The chart then goes on to name Obsessive/Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and other anxiety disorders at the lower level of the anxiety chart. This little article is about the main one, the big boy, panic disorder and seeing God through the haze of panic. I write to you as one who has suffered severely from this and I write as someone who wants to share God who helps to cope with it.
I was diagnosed with panic disorder around March of 2001. I have suffered from this disorder and PTSD for 18 years now. It has caused the loss of many things and people in my life and the remembrance of these losses does nothing but fuel the disorder if allowed. The key words are if allowed. How do we disallow repetitive panic attacks to take over our lives? I mean they completely seem to overtake our lives. With God, there is always a way! In this article, I have included four principles we must embrace to overcome the fear, confusion, and restlessness of repetitive panic attacks.
Principle 1: Ask Yourself, What Does God Ultimately Want?
First spiritual principle we need to address is to gain spiritual knowledge so we will know why we are having repetitve panic attacks. In the flesh, psychiatrists will say that we have lost or had a malfunction of a certain type of chemical or neurotransmitter found in the brain such as serotonin and dopamine. While this can hold true to an extent, there is a spiritual reason why you are suffering so greatly.
So what spiritual knowledge do we need to know that is universal to us all? The very first question we need to search out is what does our Creator want from us? The answer is the very same thing God wants of every human being. That is, to have a personal relationship with us! God wants nothing more than to know His creation, not in a whole as He already knows of our capabilities and attributes, but each and everyone of us He wants to know individually.
Principle 2: Start and Maintain a Prayer Journal
What is it that you like? Tell it to Him! Dislikes? Tell Him! Want to talk about your panic attacks? He has an open ear! The second spiritual principle to actively engage yourself with God and disengage panic is to pray. Prayer and meditation cannot be underestimated. Start a prayer journal. Enter the date, time, weather, mood, whatever category you can think of to remember that day’s prayer when you reflect back on how far you have came.
Be specific with your prayers. Tell God what these panic attacks are doing to you physically, mentally, emotionally, financially, and spiritually. Write your prayers down under these five headings. Pick a time of day when you are to yourself and undistracted so that specific prayer can be written down in detail. Do not forget our last principle when you are journaling your prayers.
Principle 3: Read and Study Scripture and Start a Spiritual Knowledge Journal
He truly wants to know you and of equal importance, He wants you to know Him. If you want to know God, read the Word! If nothing but a few chapters a day. Start a journal with two sub-headings, one that records what you learned about God and one that records what you learned about yourself. These recordings along with your prayer journal will make principle 4 worth your while.
Principle 4: Reflect on Your Journals and Mark Improvements in Your State of Health
The final step in improving your panic disorder situation is to reflect on your prayer and spiritual knowledge journal and mark improvements. Yes, you will improve! I know that because God will not leave you to suffer the way you are now. In the beginning, when you first started to panic, it seems as though you will never get better but these 4 principles or steps if you will, if followed correctly, will most definitely prove to you that firstly, God is a God who loves you and secondly, God is a God who answers prayers.
So to conclude this small piece, set aside a time each day to follow the principles and steps above. The more you participate the quicker your recovery. Take it from someone who has tried it both ways, the world’s way and God’s way and can truly profess recovery from the trial and error for 18 years it took for me to find these 4 principles above. Remember this when you feel like your recovery is going nowhere, God is the author of peace, not confusion! Therefore you will not stay a slave to panic because it is utter confusion, moreover, God’s peace shall shine through to the depths of your mind and soul, and then you will have the ability to coach others. May God bless you this day and everyday.