Series: Coping with Panic Articles

10 Rules for Coping With Panic: Rule #9 (Part 2)

Monday, September 24th, 2012

10 Rules for Coping With Panic: Rule #9 (Part 2)

(Note: this post is part of a series about navigating my way through the 10 Rules for Coping with Panic, which is a nifty little list I keep in my wallet. To read the introduction to this series, check out this post: Coping with Panic: Why I Can’t, and Why I Can.)

THE NINTH RULE

Plan what to do next. When you begin to feel better, look around you and start to plan what to do next.

This time, I’m not going to describe why this step might be difficult or easy. I think those things are obvious.

But here’s what I will say: scale.

Yup. Scale. Think about this rule in varying scales.

You panic on a Monday afternoon. You get through Rules #1-8. You approach Rule #9 and you plan what to do next: you calculate your moves. You determine how and when to stand up. You decide that soon, you’ll get back into your car.

You decide — but don’t yet act — to walk back into the mall or grocery store. Using the brain that so misled you earlier on Monday during the midst of the attack, you plan to return to the scene of the panic attack.

That works, right? It does. It works on a small scale. It works when we view panic as an acute instance that rises and resolves itself within the hour.

ZOOMING OUT

But let’s say you’re making some major progress in your recovery from panic disorder. Your life was hell a few months ago, but now, you’re managing through many aspects of daily life with greater ease. Rule #9, then, tells us that it’s time to reflect. You’ve begun to feel better, yes, but in a larger way this time.

Plan what to do next — not in the next hour, but in the next month. In the next year. Are you where you want to …


10 Rules for Coping With Panic: Rule #9 (Part 1)

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

Part of the beauty of books and notebooks is this: we use them. We use them up. We crumple them, we write in or on them, and we make them ours.


10 Rules for Coping With Panic: Rule #8, or How to Remember the Good Parts

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

(Note: this post is part of a series about navigating my way through the 10 Rules for Coping with Panic, which is a nifty little list I keep in my wallet. To read the introduction to this series, check out this post: Coping with Panic: Why I Can’t, and Why I Can.)

It’s been a long time — maybe about a month or so — since I wrote about these rules.

And why?

Truth is, I’ve been doing pretty well. I’ve had a few panic attacks here and there, but nothing I couldn’t get through with a little breather and maybe a phone call to my supportive husband.

And when I’m doing well, I fill my days with thoughts of cooking, walking, reading and writing — not with thoughts of anxiety.

To a degree, that’s a good thing. When I’m feeling well, it feels so darn good to focus on that wellness and completely forget the fact that, a year ago this week, I went on LOA from the full-time job that was a breeding ground for anxiety and panic.


10 Rules for Coping with Panic: Rule #7 (Part 3)

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

It might feel safer to avoid a trip to the mall. It might even save you from a panic attack. But, in the long run, the places, people, and situations that we avoid become more threatening to us.


10 Rules for Coping with Panic: Rule #7 (Part 2)

Sunday, June 10th, 2012

I can certainly tell you that panic comes in waves — and when the tide is low, I swim.


10 Rules for Coping with Panic: Rule #7 (Part 1)

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

“Offer valid online only. Offer not valid in stores,” the voucher said. “Perfect,” replied my agoraphobic side. I wouldn’t have to leave the house.


10 Rules for Coping with Panic: Rule #6

Monday, June 4th, 2012

Here’s the catch: when you distract yourself from panic, you also distract yourself from panic’s slow retreat.


10 Rules for Coping with Panic: Rule #5 (Part 3)

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

I didn’t give the fear time to pass. Instead, I sat, waited, and got angry at myself. I sat, waited, and wondered why I wasn’t calming down as quickly as I wanted to be. I sat, waited, and grew flustered as my body continued its jet stream of adrenaline rushes and wooziness.


10 Rules for Coping with Panic: Rule #5 (Part 2)

Sunday, May 27th, 2012

Panic is fluid. It’s not always a linear equation where Y follows X. It ebbs and it flows. It changes over time.


10 Rules for Coping with Panic: Rule #5 (Part 1)

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

Where was this coming from? I hadn’t even been feeling scared or anxious! I was dancing, enjoying myself, and spending time with my family-to-be.


Panic
About Anxiety



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