Thursday, April 21, 2016

Dealing with Panic Attacks

What is a Panic Attack?

A panic attack (also known as an anxiety attack) is a relatively brief episode of intense fear that comes on suddenly, where the person is both terrified of the physical symptoms that are afflicting them as well as by the associated fears that either triggered or accompanied the attack.

A panic attack typically lasts for at least ten minutes but can stretch on for much longer, even hours or days if cyclic in nature. Cyclic panic attacks are where a person is subject to a continuous cycle of attack after attack, with a new attack triggering even as the previous one is fading away.

The fears associated with a panic attack are strongest when the attack begins. These fears demand our attention, yet the more attention we give them – the more we fear them - the greater they become. Fighting, arguing with, fearing or trying to flee the panic attack and its disturbing symptoms causes negative adrenalin to flood our being. This in turn causes even greater anxiety and even more disturbing sensations to afflict us during the attack.

In my case, a typical panic attack included an increased heart rate, flushed face, increased temperature, shortness of breath, chest feeling constricted, a complete lack of peace, and an intense churning/discomfort in the stomach. These physical symptoms were accompanied by a terrifying fear that was so vivid and threatening that I would often ‘scream’ in my mind. Many sufferers wail or scream quite loudly during an attack.


What triggers panic attacks?

A panic attack can be triggered by an extremely stressful or fearful situation, or even by an exceptionally terrifying fearful thought. Subsequent exposure to the same situation or fearful thought may trigger further attacks. Being afraid that another attack may come increases the likelihood of them striking again.

The stress of trying to making an important life decision can also trigger a panic attack. (See below for how this can affect Christians in particular.)

Panic attacks can even trigger without a cause, however, in these cases, the mind typically searches for a reason for the attack, and may latch onto a fear which then becomes the associated fear for that attack. It is typical for the mind to latch onto a fear that has terrified the person in the past.

A mind prone to anxiety is the perfect seedbed in which a panic attack can take root and flourish. Some people by nature have a sensitive nervous system, which can be due to past or recent traumas or even due to genetic inheritance. However, those suffering from depression are especially susceptible to panic attacks as their minds are locked in a state of constant anxiety.

1 Peter 5:8 is a perfect description of how panic attacks operate. 'Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.’  Although Satan has been defeated by Christ’s victory on the cross, he masquerades as a roaring lion and tricks people into believing that panic attacks have real power and can devour them, when in fact they have no power at all.


Dealing with Panic Attacks

In late July, 1990, I read ‘Self Help for Your Nerves,’ by Dr Claire Weekes, which taught me all about the ‘fear-adrenalin-fear cycle,’ (1) and how the more we fear, flee or fight panic attacks, the worse we become as the additional adrenalin produced prolongs symptoms and produces more disturbing physical, mental, emotional and spiritual sensations. It is a very vicious cycle.

To recover from panic attacks we need to break this cycle.The AWARE Technique is one effective method used by many to break the cycle:

Breaking the Panic Attack Cycle using the AWARE Technique:


A- Accept the panic attack. Do not fear it or fight it. Fearing or fighting it just makes it worse. Just let it be there for now, like background music. Do not be afraid that you may have more panic attacks in the future. Let them come.

W- Watch the panic attack, by rating it right now on a scale of 1 to 100, 100 being the worse it has ever been in the past, and 1 meaning it has gone. Remember all anxiety attacks follow a pattern in that they increase to a peak and then decrease and stop. So do not be alarmed at its intensity during its worse phase. It will pass.

A- Act normal Carry on as normal. If you are currently engaged in an activity, concentrate on that activity. Otherwise, find something constructive to do, such as going for a walk, weeding the garden, washing the car. If you stop being active and focus on the panic attack and the fearful topic associated with it, it will suck you in and it will get temporarily worse. However, if you carry on as normal, choosing to focus on something else, the panic attack will start to fade.

R- Repeat Let time pass and keeping repeating the above three steps until the panic attack has faded away.

E- Expect Expect the best and remember that this panic attack will end soon just like all the previous ones did. Furthermore, expect each future attack to reduce in severity and duration, the more times you react to them with the AWARE technique. Eventually, you will no longer fear them and will be able to nip them in the bud before they start.


To help with future attacks, write this on a card or print it out and keep it in your wallet/purse:

A- Accept the panic attack. Do not fear it or fight it.
W- Watch the panic attack, by rating it right now on a scale of 1 to 100.
A- Act normal Carry on as normal. Do not stop being active and therefore focus on the panic attack.
R- Repeat Keeping repeating the above three steps until the panic attack has faded away.
E- Expect Expect the best and remember that this panic attack will end.

I used to say this little summary to myself when hit by a new panic attack:

Peter, you're having a panic attack,
Just accept it, (don't fear it or fight it,)
Learn to live with it,
And let time pass.

(These steps are a practical application of Bible verses Philippians 4:12-13, John 14:1, James 1:2-3. If you would like to read further Bible verses to deal with panic attacks, ie, that illustrate the above technique, please read this post, Breaking Depression's Fear Cycle.)


After I read ‘Self Help for Your Nerves,’ whenever a panic attack hit me, I said to myself: “Peter, you're having a panic attack. Don't fight it or fear it, just accept it, and learn to live with it, don't debate it and argue with it, and let time pass, and it will fade.”

To my amazement, the above technique worked, as it broke the fear-adrenalin-fear cycle. First the intensity of the attacks reduced, then their frequency grew less, and finally I found that in most cases, I was able to nip the attack in the bud before it could take off.

Another thing that can help when afflicted by an annoying re-occurring panic attack is to share the panic attack topic or fear with a wise Christian friend, so that we can get a fresh, healthier perspective on the issue. Although a fearful thought may seem larger than life to us, our friend will see right through it. In this case, trust their perspective, not our own fearful one. (A word of caution, it is not wise to continually run these fears past our friends, as this will not only drive them crazy, but in time we need to learn how to find a fresh perspective ourselves from prayer and Bible study.)

Another small note: if you suffer from panic attacks and you simply cannot put into practice the steps I have outlined above, I recommend seeing a doctor. If the doctor recommends anti-depressants and professional counselling, consider the advice carefully. Anti-depressants dull the effects of depression and panic attacks and this is a huge help in overcoming them. (See my entry, Depression, Christians, and Anti-Depressant Medication.)

2 Timothy 1:7 ‘For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.’ (Amplified Bible)


Panic Attacks and Christians

Unfortunately, for some Christians, a panic attack caused by the fear of making the wrong life choice has another insidious dimension to it. Since they cannot control it or make it stop, and because it is accompanied by a distinct lack of peace, they erroneously misinterpret the panic attack as God guiding them. A common expression not found in the Bible is, “Let the peace of God guide you.” It embarrasses me to admit that for many years I thought panic attacks were God guiding me.

Mistaking panic attacks as being God’s guidance actually makes the panic attacks worse, as such Christians in their eagerness to obey God are (unnecessarily) terrified of disobeying Him. A verse which used to torment me when I resisted and fought against a panic attack was 1 Samuel 15:22 “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD. To obey is better than sacrifice.” As I drew closer to depression as 1989 wore on, I had an attack and lost my peace every time I was faced with a major decision. Every time I tried to take a step forward, an attack (which I misinterpreted as God’s guidance) would send me reeling two steps backwards. In the end, I was too scared to make decisions any more. 18/2/1990 – I’m scared to commit to anything, such as joining a new church, getting a girlfriend, buying a computer, etc, in case He says no. It’s got to the point that I won’t do anything in case God says 'no.'

Can you imagine the relief I felt when I discovered that panic attacks were not God’s guidance, and that ignoring them was not disobeying Him?

The most bewildering aspect of mistaking panic attacks as God guiding us is trying to work out exactly what God is trying to say (since He is not actually saying anything). When severely depressed I was frequently afflicted by cyclic panic attacks over a period of months. These were associated with a large range of fears, most telling me that I was supposed to be doing this or that. Here is a diary entry showing the exasperation I felt at that time.

15/3/1990 – I feel like saying, “What sort of God are You to do this to someone, and why don’t You speak clearly? All You have to do is speak to me or give me a vision, etc, and I’ll obey, but what is this ‘Guess what I’m saying with the hit and miss affair [when I take away your peace to guide you.]’ ”

Before I became depressed, one thing that reinforced my belief that losing my peace due to a panic attack was God’s voice, was that every time I gave into the panic attack fear, the attack ended and my peace returned immediately. For example, once I was about to leave my job, enter part time ministry and look for a part time job. The massive panic attack which followed ceased as soon as I decided to turn down the offer for part time ministry and remain at my job.

However, when I became clinically depressed, giving into a panic attack and doing what it appeared to be 'saying' no longer stopped the attack. The attack just kept coming back, normally by switching immediately to another fearful thought, or topic. This was because while suffering from depression, we are in a state of constant anxiety. This was when I got my first real clue that the attacks and the lack of peace were not God’s attempt to guide me, but something else. Being convinced of this was another matter entirely.

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." John 8:32

Finally in April 1990 I saw a Christian counsellor. She told me that I was suffering from depression, and assured me that the panic attacks and lack of peace were NOT God attempting to guide me. She said that I had been placing my trust in following a lack of peace as guidance – “It’s always worked before” – instead of in Him. Through her counselling, prayer and Bible study, the Lord taught me the following truths, which set me free from the erroneous belief that panic attacks were God guiding me.

Isaiah 9:6 ‘For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.’ Jesus is the Prince of Peace, not the Prince of a lack of peace.

John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” It does not say “My lack of peace I give to guide you.”

John 14:1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.”

So if the Bible does not say, “Let the peace of God guide you,” what then does it say should guide us?

Psalm 119:105 ‘Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.’

Proverbs 3:6 ‘in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.’

James 1:5 ‘If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.’

In conclusion, we need to make our life decisions prayerfully, with wisdom based on God’s Word, and we need to do so while dwelling in His peace with an untroubled heart.

A small footnote here. Our heart can of course be troubled without suffering a panic attack – our heart can be troubled by a great number of things. For example we may have agreed to take on one too many jobs, causing such stress that we cannot relax or sleep properly. To reduce our workload here would be the wise choice. This is a case of noting the warning signs of our mind and body and taking appropriate action.

If we are feeling pressured, rushed, or stressed out by any circumstances, we need to step back, meditate upon God's Word, pray and seek His guidance. In such times, we need to wait upon Jesus to receive His rest for our soul. Matthew 11:28. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

Now although I was relieved to know that the panic attacks were not God guiding me, the attacks continued relentlessly and with almost as much power. My nervous system was still exhausted, and I was still reacting to the attacks in the wrong way - by fighting and fearing them. Freedom from the panic attacks came when I read “Self Help for Your Nerves,” as I mentioned above.


(1) ‘Self Help for Your Nerves,’ Doctor Claire Weekes, Angus & Robertston Publishers, 1989, p10.

151 comments:

  1. I am one with a weak nervous system for sure. I've only had panic attacks about a half a dozen times, but they were EXTREMELY terrifying at the time. I wish I had known this information, but now I do.

    This must have been so difficult for you to go through and now to write, but I'm so glad you're being obedient to the Lord's direction.

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  2. So glad you are sharing this, Peter. I have not had a panic attack, but this information, I'm sure, will be so valuable to others, and me. Just understanding is so important.

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  3. Your post almost brings me to tears, because I have (and still do from time to time) have panic attacks. Everything you described is spot on to the way I often have felt. I felt like the insecurity and fear I was feeling was God stopping me from making stupid mistakes. However, you make an excellent point that The Bible speaks of God being the Prince of Peace and not one who takes peace away from us. It is through prayer and scripture that we can make proper decisions not through a reliance on fear and uneasiness.

    One thing I still struggle with at times is accepting my attacks and learning how to deal with them. I tend to dwell on the fact that I am having an attack and I beat myself up for it. I will tell myself "Snap out of it, Josh. You shouldn't be reacting this way" and as you know that just makes the attacks even worse. I am going to try using your method of acceptance to see if that helps me. I can't always control the symptoms when they occur, but I can learn to let them dance around off in the background rather than making them center stage.

    Peter, I can't thank you enough for this blog. It is such an encouragement to someone like myself who struggles to be set free from depression and anxiety. God has been helping me make great strides, but I continue to thrive on advice and counsel from others who have been there and found freedom. May God bless you for all your help!

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    1. I'm going thru the same thing. I just PRAY 🙇
      to GOD every time I go thru this. It really helps. I just have to think of the POSITIVE things. That she is with me & he won't let me down.

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    2. I'm a Christan who seems to suffer from these panic attacks. The attacks originate from a fear of going to hell because of losing my faith. It's been a nightmare for a long time but I've only just now thought it could be just a panic attack. I don't know how to stop panicking though. I feel like if I stop fighting the panic attack, I'll lose my faith. Any advice?

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    3. Christ paid it all, therefore we having nothing to lose. you did nothing to attain your salvation but believe. once you did that God sealed you!

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  4. I was logged into the wrong account, so my picture didn't show up. Just wanted to make sure that you knew it was me who wrote the above comment. :)

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  5. Thanks Josh, I guessed it was you.
    And thanks so much for the feedback, I'm just glad that God can take the mess I've been through to help others get out of that place too.

    And certainly never beat yourself up over panic attacks. I still get them from time to time, but think nothing of it anymore, just my sensitive nervous system over reacting. I accept them, they fade, and they go.

    You are doing great Josh, and God's got that crown of life for you (and me!)

    'Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.' James 1:12

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  6. Peter,

    May God richly bless you for sharing your life so openly with others. He has taught you much, and you are a faithful steward.

    I have a friend who has shared with me her own struggle with panic attacks. I am going to refer her to this post.

    Blessings,
    Cheri Hardaway

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  7. Thank you, Peter, for sharing this information even though it was hard for you to write. My husband, whom I work with, gets panic attacks sometimes. He is on meds and sees a doctor, but I want to be that friend you talked about that comes alongside to help him. You are a godsend!

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  8. Thanks for the feedback, so glad the Lord is taking the mess I have been through to help and encourage others. I pray the Lord will help to set your husband free from the power of panic attacks.

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  9. One of the things I have learned in studying hearing God's voice over the last 10 years is that peace always accompanies God's voice. No exception. Even if God is leading us to an uncertain, uncomfortable, scary place, He will always lead us in PEACE. God's voice and God's peace go hand in hand.

    I know now that whenever I feel that dread or anxiety come upon me, it is not God.

    This was an excellent post. For those who suffer from anxiety, they should print it out and tuck it away in their Bible...it is a great resource and full of info.

    Blessings,
    Sandy

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  10. Thanks Peter for your post, it is a great blessing. I've been suffering from panic and anxiety attacks the last 4 months and by God's love and grace I am starting to be better. I had never experienced before this kind of attacks and it has been very hard but the Lord has helped me till here and he will continue doing it.

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  11. Glad the post could be of help, Anonymous, and that's great news that you are feeling better. Amen to your last comment as well.

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  12. HI Peter, I am not sure if this is still live, but I have struggled with Panic Attacks the last 2-3 years (Fear of death, heart attack, etc...). I see triggers that impact this, recently I have been getting more panic attacks during church service (spiritual warefare?). Thanks for your post! Encourages me that I need to accept and not try to fight it- I just asked my wife to pray for me as I went through it- ughhh- it was tough but God provided peace! God's Blessings to you for helping by sharing!

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  13. Dear Anonymous,
    Sorry for not responding sooner, a lot has been happening in my life lately. Accepting and not fighting is the key, and getting your wife's support is wonderful.
    The website below has a great article which talks about acceptance during a panic attack in more detail:
    http://www.squidoo.com/CurePanicAttacksWithTheAwareTechnique

    God bless,
    Peter

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  14. Hi Peter,

    Thanks for your encouraging response! I am going to my church's 4 week Focus group on anxiety- helps I'm not the only one who has anxiety in our church. I hope all is well with you- in all that's been going on- Blessings- great website on AWARE strategy.

    Blessings,

    Roy

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  15. Thanks for that response! I am going to a anxiety group at our church- that has been helpful in knowing I'm not the only one going through this. I guess how my body changes- I am more sensitive to its change, that leads me to feel more anxious and then shut down. My small group member stated to capture the thought as "just a thought". I also appreciate your website on accepting the panic attach instead of fleeing. My test will be tomorrow in church again! Thanks again and Blessings,

    Roy Trost-rekich

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  16. Hi Roy,
    You are so right there, a lot of people struggle with anxiety and depression. I like that advice, to consider the anxious thoughts as 'just a thought.' A good reminder that we do not need to give them undue attention. Glad the blog has been of some help too.
    God bless on the camp.
    Regards
    Peter

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  17. Dear Peter,
    I just want to thank you for this website, I suffered from depression 2 years ago, it was the worst year of my life but this website has been a blessing to my life for the articles you have written. Thanks for sharing your heart here. Today I am not into deep depression but I still struggle with anxiety and fear, and some of their symptoms and one of the fruits of that time is that I know a little bit more of God's love and grace. Blessings from South America.
    Omar.

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  18. Dear Omar,

    Thanks for sharing that hopefulness found in God's love and grace! I continue to struggle with depression and anxiety, as well as taking medication for both. I will be sure to keep you in prayer, as well as others on this site! We are in a spiritual battle until the Lord calls us home!

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  19. Dear Omar,
    Praise the Lord for the progress you have made, and that through this ordeal the Lord has revealed more of His wonderful love and grace to you.
    I am very blessed that my testimony and writings have been able to encourage you too, and I will continue to lift you up in prayer.
    God bless,
    Peter

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  20. Praise God!Thanks for sharing this article about Our God,we really need this especially in this generation,thanks!God Bless!

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  21. I just had a panic attack about twenty minutes ago, imnot sure what triggered it. maybe because I was into a heavy doctrinal debate with someone on facebook. At first i thought my heart was beatinf fast because I was excited about the posting. when I finshed the posting the attack came on about 5 minutes later. i suddenly started hearinf strange noises , i got to see , nothin than the fear came, i knew it was nothing, than tried to do things and than i began to see things that where not there. than i walked around telling myself stop it, than i tried to look on facebook and than i began to hear like a music tone, that was the last straw, i got up woke my kid up and asked him to come and be with me until it passes, he is sleeping on the couch now next to me, i needed someone here. the kitchen light is on, I started to pray for Jesus to help me, I was still nervous. The Lord lead me to your page. I was beginning to think I was being punished, or had some demon spirit, because I had stood up for truth and wouldnt allow others to be lead by false doctrine. I asking the Lord to show me truth. he lead me here, to your page. I have done exactly what you have done. I have had major panic attack usually set on by being jerked from a sleep. i thought it was the Lord showing me I was outside his will in a certain situation. I gave in and the fear went away. I thought God was trying to protect me. thank you so much for showing me I was decieved. I am going to try the steps and get the book. thank you again for sharing and allowing God to use your experience to help me. AnnieFaithful.

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  22. Dear Annie,
    Praise the Lord that He lead you here to show you, like me, that panic attacks are not from Him. I'm praying that Jesus will comfort you and give you His peace as He leads you by the hand, overcoming these attacks and associated fears.

    Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."

    God bless you heaps.

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  23. This is so hard. I have been dealing with this for a month. I have good days and think that it's over only to have a horrible night or the next day is terrible. I feel like I an going crazy. I read my bible and spend time in prayer daily. I don't understand why the Lord will not deliver me. I know I'm not supposed to understand but I feel so desperate.

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    1. Pam,
      I am in a cycle of anxiety right now. On the internet, looking for Biblical support. I've been suffering, yes suffering with these since I was in grade school. And tears are falling as I type. This past year, I have found two women who pray for me and with me as they have haunted me for so long in spurts and the last several years, the intensity has grown as issues with my thyroid have exasperated them. I have prayed over and over that God would remove this misery from me. That he would take this overwhelming fear away. That I wouldn't feel out of control, sick to my stomach, vomit, shake, not one anyone to touch me and sometimes it lasts for days. I reacted this way on my wedding day. I was so disappointed in myself. Struggled to enjoy my oldest sons military graduation. One of my prayer partners explained to me that after coming out of her abusive marriage, she was diagnosed with PTSD and her counselor explained that she needed to sit with it. To recognize and admit she was panicking. To just sit with it, not try to fight it or out run it, but sit with it and try to recognize the emotions that she could hardly recognize and where they were coming from. It wasn't a one time, cured. It's an everytime journey to try and maybe have some idea of how to cope better by recognizing the event, what is causing it and to remind ourselves, we aren't in the situation that started it all. I am constantly reminding myself, God has NEVER left me. He has NEVER forsaken me and for whatever reason, He has not removed it from me. Our children are finally seeing my anxiety and I am trying to make a plan for my attacks that we can all live with which will still keep me in a safe place. I can't help them. My husband, bless him, doesn't understand, but he tries and he loves me. He wants me to be well, he always has, and he is trying. I don"t fully know why the Lord hasn't delivered you or me, but I figure he has a plan, even if it's to make my family more aware and more empathetic to others who suffer. Maybe it was to keep me humble. How many things would be different if the fear and anxiety had been kept at bay? It is hard to see it as a blessing, and while I'm still a long way from being willing to look at it as God's gift, I am trying to see it as a blessing. It has allowed me to have honest friendships with three women which I never had before. It has allowed me to have open conversations with my sisters who also deal with anxiety in different ways. It didn't stop me from having to pull over and vomit on the side of the road tonight as I dropped my son off. And it's not letting me sleep right now because my mind and spirit are not at rest. But God is good. All the time. And I cling to that and the promise that I am not alone. Not now. Not ever.

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  24. Dear Pam,
    Have you been able to talk to your minister or a counselor about this? I would also recommend a talk with your family doctor.
    In the meantime, the most important thing is that you do not fear these attacks or the bad days. When having a bad day remember that good ones are coming.
    To learn how to stop fearing the attacks/bad days, you need to understand how the fear-adrenalin-fear cycle works. If you get a chance, please read these 3 articles on this blog:
    R05. Symptoms of Depression & How it Causes Them
    R06. Facing Distressing Symptoms instead of Dreading Them
    R07. Breaking Depression's Fear Cycle

    Keep pressing into Jesus, for He promises to never let us go, even during the storms.
    God bless
    Peter

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  25. Hey I haven't been here but I think I've come up with the reason why I've been suffering from absolutely terrifying panic attacks. Everything is going great in my life, I just got married, trying for a baby, I love my life. I truly feel that Satan is trying to ruin me. I ended up in the hospital last night, I was acting like a crazy person so fearful to go to sleep, they eventually had to sedate me. During my panic attacks that happen at night I have the most disturbing visions of death, I have a sense that I am going to die very soon, I'm dizzy, I feel like vomiting and I feel like I'm under attack.
    I truly feel that not only do I have natural stress over life changes but that Satan himself is trying to get into my system and destroy my happiness. I did not realize this until today and now I am extremely upset.
    I may not have people agree with me but this is how I feel and I am going to yell and scream, do whatever it takes to make Satan go away, I love the Lord and although I don't have the strongest faith I know that if I hold on, I can make it. I'm don't want to waste my life worrying about the next panic attack and I refuse to be afraid of death (this is the main cause and visions I get when panicking) Please pray for me, I feel like I am in spiritual warfare with Satan. I hope all of you overcome this, it truly can destroy your life if you don't get it under control.

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    1. Dear Melinda,
      There is no doubt that Satan attacks us with fears and doubts, however, we do need to be careful how we react to them. Jesus said to let not our hearts be troubled, and do not worry about tomorrow, but to trust in God for everything.

      To become extremely angry and upset at the enemy over panic attacks may cause your nervous system to become over sensitive. I advise that you visit your pastor, and ask them to conduct the spiritual warfare over you instead. Press in to Jesus, cling to, trust in, and rely upon Him.

      May I encourage you to read these posts on this blog:
      R05. Symptoms of Depression & How it Causes Them
      R06. Facing Distressing Symptoms instead of Dreading Them
      R07. Breaking Depression's Fear Cycle

      Also, this article is very good in overcoming panic attacks:
      http://www.squidoo.com/CurePanicAttacksWithTheAwareTechnique

      Remember, Satan goes about 'like' a roaring lion, he excels at deception, and that is what panic attacks are, a deception.

      God bless
      Peter

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    2. Melinda....
      This is what I'm fearing also. What you're going thru is what I'm going thru myself. How old are you? I Love GOD very much!!! This is a scary feeling. Write back to me.

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    3. I have the same feelings. Where I can't even sleep at night. I have been praying for god to remove this but remained so freak out all the time. Please pray for me.

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    4. Dear David, I pray that you will learn how to react to and cope with anxiety attacks, so that you are no longer afraid of them or freak out. Praying also that you can find peace and sleep at night.

      Please read this article a few times, and also read the article on this blog about insomnia. Are you taking any medication for the anxiety or sleeping problem? Might be worth looking into.

      God bless
      Peter Stone

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  26. This is such a great blog!! Thank you for writing this!! I suffered for a year with fear, anxiety, panic, which lead to depression. I am on a journey now to join with others who are taking a stand against this bondage!!! Keep writing and ecouraging! I'd love to have you and your friends check out my journey as well. I know that while I was suffering in the pit the most encouraging thing was to know I was NOT alone and that others had come out of it!

    www.poynterjourney.wordpress.com

    Blessings over you!

    A

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    1. Thanks for dropping by April,
      Amen to taking a stand against fear and anxiety, over which our wonderful Lord has given us victory. I also remember the relief that I felt when I learnt that what I was going through such as panic attacks, were normal and not restricted only to me, and that as others had recovered, so could I.
      God bless
      Peter

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  27. Dear Peter,

    I suffered with the condition for eleven years until finding Dr. Levinson, a psychiatrist out of New York who discovered most panic attacks are from an inner ear dysfunction.
    I still get anxiety and have a heart arrhythmia. People should get checked out by a cardiologist and rule out physical problems first like their thyroids.
    Anyway, thanks for sharing your story.

    Sarah

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    1. Hi Sarah,
      Thanks for the advice, and I agree that people suffering from depression, anxiety and panic attacks should get themselves checked out by a doctor to check for any physical causes of their ailment, including their ears, as you have mentioned. Depression etc can also be caused by food intolerances such being unable to eat fructose or glucose.
      As to inner ear dysfunction/disorder, is this Meniere's disease?
      In my case, I have had my ears checked out, and the problem I have is otosclerosis, ie, calcification of the bones in the middle ear. I believe that my inner ears are ok.
      God bless
      Peter

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  28. Thankyou. I've read this twice now, it's very encouraging.

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  29. Peter--I am 55 years old and never had a panic attack until last year. They have continued consistently and are directly related to my failing business. If anything, they have increased in frequency and intensity. I found your article helpful and encouraging. I particularly enjoyed reading what our response to a panic attack should be: Don't fight it, don't fear it, etc. For me, I would add the phrase: Don't flee it. I have found myself needing to almost run to my car, hop in and go for a long drive to calm myself down during these events. It's not that I'm looking forward to another attack--I can promise you that! But your advice has helped me develop a response. In fact, I cut and pasted the technique you used, gave it the file name "panic attack" and plan to quickly access it when and if another attack occurs. Thank you, Brother. May the Lord strengthen you with all power according to His glorious might. Dave

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    1. Hi Dave,
      So glad that this article has been of help to you, and will continue to be so. And you are spot on, we should not flee the attacks either. I'll get that added to the article. In fact, if you check the post "R07. Breaking Depression's Fear Cycle" it mentions that we should not fear, fight or flee. Thanks again.
      God bless
      Peter

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  30. Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Thank you, However
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    ReplyDelete
  31. Dear Peter,
    Thank you so much for writing this. I was deeply blessed by reading it, as your words helped me come to an understanding that the attacks I was having were NOT God guiding me. I felt so relieved to understand this, and suddenly had the courage to ask others to support and pray for me. Not long after, God has released me from the dread and despair I was in and brought new hope to my heart. What a mighty God we serve! I am excited about the days to come.
    Many blessings to you. May God continue to strengthen you greatly in your life and ministry!
    Lauren

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    1. Dear Lauren,
      Praise the Lord for releasing you from this bondage of dread and despair - He certainly is a mighty God :) "He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed," Luke 4:18

      May the Lord continue to strengthen you and bless you in every area of your life.

      God bless
      Peter

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  32. Peter Stone,

    Thank you for your article. I am 20 years old and I have been having panic attacks for the past 5 or 6 years. They began right before my parents divorced. I, nor the doctor's know why I began having them. Nothing scared me or happened to me, so why all of a sudden would I begin having them? I have them a couple of times a month, and sometimes I realize that I haven't had them in a while and then that day or a couple days after that I have them. Sometimes I only have one or two a day, and other times they last daily for a week. Sometimes they are really bad, sometimes they are not. When they are I get really scared and the feeling of someone watching me, and if I'm on a bed or couch or chair I have to lift my feet up because I feel someone might reach up and grab me, even though I know that won't really happen. All noise and talking has to stop, I get extremely tired and unfocused as well. I have a twin sister who also began having these. She does not have them as often as I do though. I am a follower of Christ and I surrendered my life over to him almost 2 years ago. I ask him almost every day why He has no healed me of these. I know he can, I have faith in Him...but I still have them and go through this. I can not understand why. I have had people tell me that perhaps Christ is going to use these in my life, but how can He possibly use these? And if He is going to use them why wait so long? What if I continue to have them when I am married in August and when I have kids? If I have one while I am alone at home and taking care of our child(ren) I don't know how I would get through it. I can't be around people when I'm having one. I just don't understand. I have faith in Him but it's just so hard to keep the faith when I have had them for so long...
    Thank you for listening. God Bless!

    Katie

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    1. Dear Katie,
      Thanks for writing and sharing what you have been going through. As to what caused your panic attacks to start, I would guess it was from the tension/anxiety associated with your parents troubles and subsequent divorce. And once you have had one attack, you fear having another, and that in itself is enough to keep them coming.

      Let me assure you that you have nothing to fear with panic attacks. They are a deception, a great con. They try to trick you into believing that the associated fear is real, or is going to come true. - I have complete confidence that you can learn how to deal with them, and in so doing, rob them of their power.

      As to why Jesus has not miraculously heal you - it is much better for you that you learn how to deal with and over come panic attacks yourself, (and remember we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us), so that when you face stressful times in the future, of any kind, you will not fall victim to them anymore. Then you can face your life with confidence.

      I would advise you to see a good doctor and tell them about your problems with anxiety and anxiety attacks. Find a doctor who knows about these things. Also, can you get a copy of "Self Help for your Nerves" by Dr Claire Weekes? You can get from some libraries, or from Amazon UK. (If you can't find it let me know.) Also, please download the pdf booklet I put on this blog, called, "When I am Weak, then I am Strong." Its on the right side bar, near the top. Read the whole thing, and relevant articles such as this one, several times. Also consider getting counseling from a counselor or pastor who has experience with panic attacks/anxiety.

      God bless
      Peter

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  33. Hi my name is Ann , I have been suffering from panic attacks and anxiety since I can remember , even as a child my mom would take me to the doctor and by the time I got there the attack was over and I would fall asleep , she thought I had asthma , but it was anxiety I realized when I was ten I heard about it and knew I suffered for so long , it was usually at night but I didn't want to brother my single mom with it, it was very hard for me many many times in my life , I gave my life to Christ when I was 18 , I am 27 and still suffer from this , I've told a doctor before and she said I was too young to have anxiety , and gave me xanax to calm me for bed, this was 4 years ago, that's the only one prescription I ever got . Last night I was reading bible versus and drifted to sleep , than I felt like my body was being pulled like a magnet force inside of me towards the left , like Satan was trying to rip my soul out of my body, I freaked out and woke up running downstairs like I was insane , than all night I couldn't sleep till 6 am on my couch , I'm back on my couch not being able to sleep , I feel if I read the bible its gonna happen again , but I googled Christians with anxiety and fond this blog ,your scriptures really helped me , sometimes the bible scares me all in itself so I'm gonna remember the things you wrote , about the prince of peace , I do truly love our savior but I fear him too, and sometimes it over rules and I don't like that . Always worried about the what if .....how can I truly have faith , if I'm worried all the time . :(

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    1. Dear Anonymous
      I'm sorry to hear you've been having such a difficult time, but please be reassured that you are not alone in going through this. (And that doctor gave you completely wrong advice. Please look for a new doctor, one that understands anxiety and depression.)

      Please also be reassured that Satan cannot do as you feared. 1 John 4:4 tells us that "...the one who is in you [Jesus] is greater than the one who is in the world." From what you have described, I would guess that you had a nightmare or night terror. There is an article on this blog about night terrors. They are actually completely harmless. (Note that anxiety can cause quite weird and disorienting nightmares.) So please have no fear.

      Also, do not be concerned about your level of faith or about being worried - these are by products of anxiety/depression.

      However, I would like to strongly recommend that you do see a new doctor and check if on the right medications, and also, can you get counseling from a Christian counselor/therapist/minister who understands anxiety and how to deal with it?

      Hang in there, and cling to, trust in and rely upon Jesus, you can get through this.

      God bless
      Peter

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  34. My name is Christian P..ive been having attacks for about 10 years....I myself thought panic attacks was a way of God trying to speak to me or tell me something....im very fortunate to have found this...I will be joyful when God blesses you for helping all of us face our fears

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    1. Dear Christian,
      I think there have been/are many of us who have fallen into that trap, but praise the Lord for showing us the truth, so that we can be set free from panic attacks and their associated fears.
      God bless
      Peter

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  35. I started out with Panic Attacks, I still check for safe zones to this day and get anxious on long trips. Contemplation is always worse. Dr. Weekes taught me how to "ride past" Today while doing my hair, my heart was pounding, and I knew I was having a attack of some sort, yet as I felt my heart, I was calm. Is that possible? I hold my ground, and it passes. Once I learned that I don't get bluffed so easily anymore. Depression? I can see the link, but I can also see the difference. I suffer from the fears of feeling so down, and that stirs the adrenalin the same. Recover for me has it's bits and pieces, but prayer and Gods guidance will eventually finish this puzzle. God Bless all who are so strong with their struggles. Fear of loosing your mind is the worst. Dr. Claire Weekes wrote: So many feel they will loose their minds and can not think clearly during a Panic Attack .... Yet, when one is running out the door, they always manage to say
    "Excuse me" ....:)

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    1. Dear Anonymous
      Thank you for sharing. Dr Weekes technique or riding past, or acceptance and letting time past, is such a powerful way of dealing panic attacks - a practical method of putting Jesus' words into practice, of not letting our hearts be troubled. And yes, we can experience a physical/emotional attack without it happening to the mind. I experienced that once while playing paintball. I just knelt down until it passed, and then kept on going like nothing had happened.
      God bless
      Peter

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  36. As I write this, I just got over an attack because I found this page. I am a new 21 year old who finally found God and have been suffering for the last year with attacks. Bro, I found this page as I was in the middle of a full attack. My chest pounding, face sweating, I felt this was for sure the last of me. Then I stopped being afraid.God is too good he let me find this page in the middle of an attack. So just to clarify, I shouldn't fight my attacks? And when it comes to praying can I ask God to take them from me or are they something I must deal with?

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    1. Dear Anonymous,
      I'm so glad you were able to find this page, so that it could help you deal with that attack. And to answer your question, I believe you should ask God to teach you how to overcome panic attacks. When you know how to deal with them, and you no longer fear them, they loose their power and duration, and soon they will loose their hold on you. God does not want us to live in bondage to fear.

      The fact is, accepting instead of fighting or fearing is the key to dealing with panic attacks. I recommend that you read this article a few times, and also, the website below has a great article which talks about acceptance during a panic attack in more detail:
      The Aware Technique

      Once you have learned how to deal with and overcome them, your life can be set free from the fear of them, and set free from the bondage the attacks can place you in.

      God bless
      Peter

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  37. peter , i went through panic attacks from april for about 5 months in 2012. self help for nerves, and you as well as some others helped so much,thanks.i was so greatful to God and His deliverance i'm a believer/christian musician/guitarist who has had fears since drug uses in the 70s. god saved me 1974 . now 5 months later i'm struggling with fear again , over tinnitus and a sinus infection.sometimes i just don't understand why some people so easily see God.and trust but i so easily fear. My wife is a Godsend. I would appreciate your prayers and any response that you feel helpful. thank terry

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    1. Dear Terry

      May I encourage you to read all of the Psalms, at least a Psalm a day, hopefully more. Focus on the Psalms where the writer is struggling with hardship, even crying out to God in confusion, doubt or anger, and see how he works through each of these issues, always coming back to place his faith and trust solidly in God, regardless of his troubles.

      Also, may I encourage you to read these two articles on tinnitus, which should be of help. But hopefully your tinnitus is just from the sinus infection.

      First article

      Second article

      Feel free to pop me an email if you have any further questions, and I'll lift you up in my prayers :)

      God bless
      Peter

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  38. Thanks God you kept diaries finally I have someone i can relate to I ordered Claire Weekes book and CD and am hoping this will help with my driving anxiety . My friend has been driving me to work because I have an attack everytime I drive farther then a few miles. I have a new car that I am not enjoying!. This anxiety/panic is stealing my peace and freedom and making me depressed.

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    1. Dear Brandyebee
      Thank you for your comment. I am convinced that like me, you can learn to overcome panic attacks and rob them of their power, so that you can go back to enjoying driving. I hope Dr Weekes book can help you as it helped me.

      Also, if you can read the three below articles on this blog, they may be of great help too.
      R05. Symptoms of Depression & How it Causes Them
      R06. Facing Distressing Symptoms instead of Dreading Them
      R07. Breaking Depression's Fear Cycle
      You can find links to the articles on the right hand bar.

      God bless
      Peter

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  39. I need God's Help! I grew up knowing the love of Christ for me, what is not very common in my country Portugal (almost the entire population is Catholic)! I received Jesus has my personal Saviour and Lord when I was young and have always fought to keep my relationship with him (I prayed and read the bible all single day) and I was quite happy! I felt tremendous peace and joy in my life! Due to some misleading friendships, and due to the appealing appearance of sin i've gradually turned away from God! I stopped praying and reading God's word! This was 2 years ago! I tried many times to return to God but I would fall into sin again. When I realized I was in a vicious cycle of asking for God's mercy and quickly returning to sin! My heart hardened and it is so disconnected that i can't find my path to God! Over the last year I've been suffering from massive panic attacks that are leading me to desperation! I need God but I can't feel him, It seems he is not there! I continue to go to church with my father but it seems my heart, my praise, my joy was lost in the way! I miss God in my life everyday but do not feel I deserve his forgiveness! I feel he doesn't want me back because of what I've done the last two years! Can you pray for me? I'm desperate Can you tell me what can I do?

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    Replies
    1. Dear Anonymous,
      Thank you for your comments and question.
      If we backslide into sin, God calls us to come to Him and repent, which means to be sorry and to turn our backs on that sin. 'Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,' Acts 3:19

      And the wonderful good news is that when we come back to God, He runs to welcome us back. Read Luke 15:11-32. We are further encouraged that when one sheep is lost, Jesus goes looking for that sheep until He finds him. Luke 15:1-7

      Please use this time to learn to believe in and stand upon, God's Word. Do not worry about what you can feel, for your feelings have been warped and distorted by the anxiety you are experiencing.

      You also need to learn to overcome these panic attacks. Can you please read this article every day, until you learn the technique of dealing with them.

      Also, have you seen a doctor and told them what you are going through? And lastly, is there a minister you can talk to as well, to get Biblical counseling about what you are going through?

      Praying for you,
      God bless
      Peter

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    2. God loves you no matter what and HE is far more willing to help you overcome your pains, trials and "struggles" with sin. He is more concerned in love towards you than at the time you were yet saved. [ But God demonstrates his love for us by the fact that the Messiah died for us while we were still sinners. Now that we have been justified by his blood, how much more will we be saved from wrath through him! For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life! Rom 5:8-10]


      It's so sad the devil just tries to cheat us out of God's love by telling us lies that we have sinned so frequently and badly that HE (GOD) has given up on us. I imagine, GOD GAVE UP? Ha Ha...its is a dead lie! For get about those scriptures the devil twists up to frustrates our efforts to rest and return to Christ. The devil may even quote that God once gave up on Sodom and Gomorrah, God gave up on man and used flood to destroy earth, etc...remember, he tried the same tactic on Jesus in Matt 4! Lol.

      My friend, what can separate us from the love of Christ (i.e CHRIST's love TOWARDS US). Read the following scripture passage dear:

      [Rom 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
      Rom 8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
      Rom 8:33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.
      Rom 8:34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
      Rom 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
      Rom 8:36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
      Rom 8:37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
      Rom 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
      Rom 8:39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. ]

      HE initiated the love towards us even while we were yet sinners. He initiated the salvation story from the garden of Eden. He completed the salvation story on the cross (what the law and beating up of our selves and our shear will cannot do), and HE forever lives to MAKE INTERCESSION FOR us at the right hand of God. Halleluyah! [Heb 7:24 But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.
      Heb 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. ]

      He love you too much to let you go. He forever waits like the prodigal son's father for you. He is in fact running towards you as you have decided to look for him. Your disobedience cannot fustrate him. He is STONGER than you and we all. Thank God.

      Let me let you in on a secrete. Your desire to return to Him is an indication that you are not lost in sin. Ah! He works in you both to will and do of HIS good pleasure. welcome back home friend. I was once like you but I have caught that cunning thief, the devil. I am back into the arms of my Father through the acceptance of what Christ has done for me and not the works of my hand. I don't sin willfully not because I just want to obey Him but more so because I love Him and He loves me so much I can't afford to break his always forgiving heart.

      Love always, Dele.

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    3. After reading your words Dele I feel more encouraged to continue on my walk with God. The lies and deception will not keep me from him. Thank God for who he is.

      Delete
  40. I'm the anonymous from Portugal. My name is João. I've been coming everyday to this blog in order to seek help and to see if i could be provided some helping advices. Thank you for answering my questions. Over the last two years I've seen two or three doctors and they have given me some drugs to overcome this problem. Valdispert first and Victan later. But after some weeks I've left them in order to overcome this problem alone with God and without drugs. But I wasn't capable to maintain my relantionship with God and the situation worsened. The doctors also told me that I needed to see a psychologist and I followed their advice. I had five or six sessions but they could not understand what I was feeling since it was mainly due to God. The church that i attend has few believers, only 10. There is no young people and sometimes I feel very lonely. But there I've a sister that is psychologist and I will talk to her in order to be provided help. This week I attended all services and it was a great week. I know that God will help me to overcome this and I will live everyday with him. I will continue to read your posts. They're helping me a lot
    Than you!

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    1. Dar Joao,
      Thank you for writing again. Did you find some relief while taking the medication? If you did, I would suggest that you go back to taking them and for as long as necessary, and continue to get regular check ups with the doctor who gave you the medications. Think of depression as an illness, and that illnesses need to be treated. Do not think of them as drugs. If you had diabetes you would not hesitate to take the medication, I think.

      That is good news that you can talk to your sister. And I know it feels like what you are feeling is mainly due to God, but depression touches every part of us, our body, mind, emotions, and it touches our walk with God.

      Keep pressing into Jesus.
      God bless
      Peter

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  41. Dear Peter, thanks again for answering to my questions and fears. I felt even more fear when I was doing medication. I think to much on the future and my problems and so i feel stressed. I'm giving my life to Christ as a living sacrifice in order him to take away my troubles and doubts. Since Sunday hope has grown in my life. Sunday's service was very good, it seems like my life will improve know. A sister has come from Israel she has worked there for about three months spreading the word of the Lord. She has been renewed I've never seen her so happy. She has prayed for me and will from now on help me. God has answered my prayers for a friend in Christ to help me. Has you can see I've a lot of help know! I know that it takes time for me to be recovered but I know I will and when I am recovered I will praise his name testifying of his love in my life I swear. I will keep you in touch! Once again thank you! God bless you!
    João

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  42. Dear, Peter....

    I have been through the greatest hardship of my life. I was in a car accident and that is when things began to crumble. I lost my job, car, apartment, and now I have to move. I started noticing a difference in my attitude about three weeks after. It all cam crashing down on my like a tidal wave. I have this AMAZING man by my side and I continue to hurt him and have contemplated ending it. My mother and sister who I honor and respect their opinion tell me to wait to make the choice to leave or not to leave once I get back home and heal. I feel like I have no compassion when I talk to him rudely or dismissively. He went BEYOND to help me get out of my apartment and I barely cared. What is wrong with me? When everyone who loves me tells me to wait why do I struggle? The thought of leaving causes me to panic and staying I feel trapped in the unknown. I know God leads with peace but the fear of disobeying is killing me! I know that if I needed to leave my mother and sister would feel peace about it but they don't they feel panicked. I go through panic attacks thinking of leaving or staying. Giving into it feels like the panic would go away but I know that I would be overwhelmed by a sense of guilt and horror of what I had done. I need help. I don't want to hurt anyone anymore and running away would only hurt more. My obsessive thoughts are really hurting my ability to function. God has given me many confirmation that he has me right where he wants with a few articles, scripture and family (my mother once said" careful Audrey you may just wear everyone down and get what you want but that may not be what you need") me but sometimes I still struggle with my choice to wait and gain healthy perspective with time. I should also add that I received a cochlear(inner ear) contusion in the accident...is that affected?

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    1. Dearest Audrey
      Thank you for writing. From what you've shared above, you sound like you are suffering from strong depression, not just panic attacks. From that perspective, are you taking any medications for it? If not, please go to see a good doctor - get your mother to go with you if you need. Tell them what you've shared above, about contemplating ending it, having no feelings left, etc.

      The next advice I would give is this - never make a major life decision when depressed. Your perspective on life has been completely distorted by the depression, making everything darker than it is.

      Secondly, what you have described about having no feelings, or even negative feelings, for your amazing man, are also normal symptoms of depression. Let me quote from Dr Weekes book: "The illusion of loss of contact with other people can be so strong that some people complain they feel no love for those they used to love, even for their own children. It is as if they have a vacuum where their feelings should be.... It is a mistake for this person to...try to force normal feeling. They must wait for it to return as it inevitably does." (Self Help for your Nerves, p122)

      Depression effects all of you, mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually. But let me stress this - you can recover completely, and have a normal, happy full of joy again. Can you download the booklet on this blog and read it? Depression Booklet. Also, can you get a copy of "Self Help for your Nerves" by Dr Claire Weekes? If you can't find a copy, buzz me an email. peter7r9 at gmail dot com
      And are you getting counseling/therapy?

      Hang in there, and keeping pressing into Jesus.
      Peter




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    2. Peter,

      Thank you for your reply. I have negative feelings sometimes its just I have lost some of joy we shared. I hate that I feel anxious when I am around him because I want to bring all those feelings back just to feel normal again. I feel like it is because I have made him the cause of all my stress. Our relationship is the only thing I have control over right now. I almost want to save him from me. I dread even talking to my family sometimes. It is all becoming so real what the accident has done to my life. I didn't ask to have everything stripped away so forcefully from me. I know that I am not myself right now. I look at my reflection in the mirror and I can hardly recognize myself. It is embarassing. I feel less compassionate, loving, selfless, and more....

      I have not recieved counselling because I can not afford it. I want a Christian counselor who I can trust. I will certainly try and find that book. I want to thank you for your blog this has helped me learn to calm myself down and wait this out with God.

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  43. Please pray for me. My panic disorder is back after 2 years panic-free and I don't want to go back on medication.

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    1. Dear Anonymous
      Thank you for your prayer request.
      I also recommend that you learn the steps presented here, and further explained here as the aware technique. By responding to panic attacks properly, you should normally be able to get over them quickly, if not stop them developing altogether. If you are still having trouble, there is no shame in going on the meds if they help.
      God bless
      Peter

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    2. Thank-you and God bless you too.

      Delete
  44. I'm seventeen, and I started having panic attacks about a month ago consistently every evening. The attack starts as early as 4 pm (though more usually around 6 pm), and stretches on until I am somehow able to make myself sleep. I have several auto-immune health disorders. Most recently, my immune system has begun to attack my thyroid, causing my body to release huge amounts of cortisol in the evening --when my body ought to be releasing the smallest amount. Hence the panic attack. My body is telling me I'm about to die --every night. And spiritually, this has been the most exhausting, traumatic thing I have ever had to deal with.

    Above, you said, "the mind typically searches for a reason for the attack, and may latch onto a fear which then becomes the associated fear for that attack. It is typical for the mind to latch onto a fear that has terrified the person in the past."

    This encouraged me so much! The fear that my mind latches onto is that Jesus has forsaken me; that I sinned one too many times, and He doesn't love me anymore. That I am being cast out into "outer darkness, and gnashing of teeth". I think things like, "If I truly belonged to Jesus, He'd protect me from this. The only explanation is that I am no longer a partaker of the cross. He's rejected me."

    Scripturally, I know this to be impossible, as "He will never leave nor forsake me," "if we repent, He is faithful and just to forgive", "A broken and contrite spirit He will not despise." But it is *so hard* when your mind and body seem united to force you to believe differently. I am learning much about my weakness, and His strength. About faith, and about waiting on the Lord. So, thank you for the encouragement. Before, I had thought that "Real Christians" don't struggle with this.

    Please pray for me!
    Clinging to the cross,
    Haley Whelan

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    1. Dear Haley,
      Unfortunately, Christians tend to hide trials like this, partly because of the expectation that they should "have it all together" and also because panic attacks and depression are not understood in the church - but real Christians most definitely struggle through these issues. May I encourage you to read through the Psalms and you will see that the Psalmist goes through these exact things, and read his encouraging conclusions as He places His trust in the Lord always.

      Can I also suggest that you read this article on panic attacks several times, and also this afticle and also this one.

      Also, as you know that the panic attacks always start about the same time, by preparing yourself you should be able to nip them in the bud, or at least stop the mental fearful aspect. Main thing is not to fear their arrival, as in this above article. Also, is there something different you can do each night, around six, that can distract you? Some change in your routine, for example.

      And every morning, meditate on scriptures such as these, reinforcing them in your mind and spirit:
      NOTHING can separate us from Christ's love - Romans 8:38-39 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
      Ephesians 3:17-18 And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,

      Remembering you in my prayers,
      God bless
      Peter

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  45. I am so glad that I have found this blog. I have been struggling with anxiety for over a year now. It's so hard when people do not understand you. There are a few problems that make me anxious but still to others they look so minor. And maybe they are. Just hard when you cannot sleep at night and then you feel so unmotivated to do anything. Plus I am stay home mom with my little one so maybe this makes me depressed to. Hope I will find support here.

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    1. Dear Anonymous,
      Thanks for dropping by the blog. Have you spoken to your doctor about the sleeping issue? It could be something easily fixed.

      May I also recommend that you read the booklet of this blog's articles, in sequential order. Hopefully it can give you hope and a lot of practical ideas on how to deal with anxiety. Free Christian Depression Booklet. And if you can get a copy of "Self Help for your Nerves" by Dr Claire Weekes, I'm sure that would be of great help as well.

      God bless
      Peter

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  46. Thank you Peter. your block is a divine answer to my questions. Just completed a fast asking God for direction when I came across your blog.

    I have been having recurrent panic attacks on background depression (cant grade it). Have gone to seek professional help like 3years ago and was place on mood stabilizer for about a week. i was really ashamed then of taking the drugs cos of what I though my fellow christian colleagues would "think" (of me being weak in faith).

    I share a similar experience with many other testifiers on this blog. the most frustrating part being the part of having to pick between God's will and your interest, Not wanting to "disobey" God and really hating his "choice" for your life. Its amazing to finally meet people that truly understands what I have been going through. my confidence have begun to get really frustrated with my fluctuation in mood and choices. They wonder why I consciously make choices I hate and then become depressed after making it or while making it. Feels like I don't have control over my own life then depression sets in more. Its a crazy cycle! You somewhat start to disbelieve "God's voices" to keep your last sanity. Devils strategy of causing an enemity with God.

    The panic attacks increases in intensity when am about to make major life decisions and I tend to initially avoid making those choices (to calm the panic attacks) all together then afterwards hates it that I made no choice or made the wrong choice (then falls into depression again). I am really glad to know that it is not a form of God's will/guidance when am having panic attacks. they are just oppressions latching on my old negative experiences.

    Its such a torment and oppression. My chest tightens up, guts feels tied up in knots, feels like vomiting, cant sleep, cant eat, everything, hate life, hates you and loves you withing a space of 1 min. Not sure of how I feel, can't trust one's self, hated my life, frustrates my friends, feels lonely but don't want a relationship (avoided it so as not to hurt my mate), never had a relationship till 28yrs now feels like quitting both my job and the relationship. e.t.c.

    I know we wrestle not against flesh and blood and that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty through God. I know I will win this fight at the end but I really want it to be over soonest. I know I had certain challenging experiences while growing up and had certain oppressive bosses/parents that think one has to fear always as a sign of respect. My conscience is very sensitive and I really get to regret easily and feel sober .

    I hope more Christians would recognize these deception of hell. The spirit of fear comes along with torment and oppression. Panic attacks and "lack of peace to the extent of fear and panic attacks" are not God's way of helping his children. this guilt preaching and plastic theologies of many denominations only mentally enslave and mislead their members.

    God bless you. Looking forward to reading more of your blog. I am recovering fast now and I hope all stays that way.

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    1. Dear Oladele,

      Thank you for sharing what you've been going through, so similar to what used to happen to me, mistaking the lack of peace as God's guidance, the triggering of attacks and increase in intensity when about to make life decisions, until no longer able to make any more decisions.

      Praise the Lord that He lead you to this blog, so that you can know the truth and be set free from such fears. Our God is a beautiful God of peace, and he whom the Lord Jesus sets free is free indeed :)

      Please note that if you download the free booklet on this blog (you can download it by its images near the top right of the blog), the articles in the booklet are in a logical sequence.

      Also, please do not feel bad for taking the mood stabilizers. Taking them is not being weak in our faith, but admitting that our physical chemistry is out of kilter and requires treatment.

      God bless
      Peter



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  47. Hi Peter,

    Thank you for what you have written here.

    I am currently 29.

    I used to think of myself as able to do all things in Jesus Christ - After finishing a challenging university degree, I went to be a missionary in Siberia, Russia for 5 years. I was at times isolated, learning a new culture and language and at times battling oppressive officialdom. I moved house during those 5 years about 10 times. I got through several fairly serious illnesses - including pneumonia, giardia and flu with which, I had a temperature of 106. I got through all that and even remained fairly happy.

    When I came back home, I started looking into becoming a Christian minister, got an office job, and started the process of sorting out my wife's residency. During last year, I gradually started having what I now think were panic attacks. My vision would go blurred, and I would have to leave wherever I was. Sometimes I would feel faint. It was quite a difficult time for us as a family. Towards the end of the year, we moved house, my wife's brother got himself into a lot of trouble and then at the beginning of the year, I went through a set of interviews and was selected to be an Anglican minister - and my wife's residency was sorted out.

    During this period, I was having increasingly frequent panic attacks at work. About a month after all the issues were resolved I started having massive panic attacks at work and had to quit. I was reduced to lying in bed for several weeks, alternating between feeling faint and uncontrollably anxious. I have IBS and some problems with breathing (possibly residual from my time in Russia), but my heart function is fine, my blood pressure is normal, my thyroid function is normal and I am not diabetic. However, it has felt like I was going to die several times a day.

    My eyesight was in a mess, however. My focussing was a disaster (I was doing visually intensive work in my office) - and now I am gradually getting better with the help of eye exercises prescribed by my optician (who is a Christian) and trying to be positive. Whenever I start getting angry, upset or frustrated, I need to repeat to myself God's promises to me - and learn to focus an where God is leading. I have found that breathing exercises can help too. Prayer is a really big thing - I find that if I am prayed for while going into a panic spiral, it really helps.

    I am starting theological college in September. I feel that this experience has probably taught me more about God and being dependent on him than most theology textbooks... Initially it felt as though God had left me - now it feels like the opposite. I was given good advice - that even though the symptoms are now starting to go, you may remain prone to panic attacks and need to have a way of dealing with them for some time yet. Breathing from the stomach, praying and relaxing into the attack rather than fighting it seem as effective as anything.

    Really encouraging to read others' experiences. Thanks to all who have posted

    One piece of advice I would give though - is - if you're suffering from anxiety, particularly head-spinning symptoms - go to a good optician and get your eyes checked - particularly for focussing and tracking issues.

    I would also encourage people here that suffering from anxiety doesn't mean you are weak and useless. It may be down to an illness, or physical reason - it may be down to God just leading you through a difficult period of life where you are learning to trust him, or it may be that you still need to find the thing that God is leading you into, where you will find joy with him. Some of the people I respect most and listen to most at church are people who it turns out have gone through exactly this experience.

    Good advice about letting God's peace lead you, not your fears and anxiety.

    Blessings,

    Daniel

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    1. Dear Daniel

      Thank you for sharing your experiences with panic attacks with us, and the importance of accepting them when they come, ie, as you said, relaxing into them. I'm glad you were able to get help for the problem with your eyes, but did you know that blurred vision can be a symptom of anxiety, which in turn can lead to further anxiety? And yes, you make a very good point that we need to get our health checked if suffering from any anxiety or depressive illnesses, to make sure an illness etc is not the cause.

      God bless
      Peter

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    2. Yes - thanks for your reply. Anxiety seems to set off no end of downward spirals. Say for example the initial problem was with eyes - then you get anxious because of this - and then because of the anxiety you get a problem with your eyes - then you get more anxious and so on. Anxiety seems to be able to cause just about any physical symptoms.

      Telling yourself its just a panic attack and will be over in 10 minutes and not fight the symptoms seems to break that cycle. - If you can get yourself to believe it.

      I have been taking a bit greater control of things again - but keeping in reserve various techniques for dealing with panic attacks.

      So far, so good. I still can't drink coffee, though, without having an attack. :-) Had to change that for camomile tea.

      Blessings,

      Daniel

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  48. Hi, thank you so much for this post. I was just journaling to the Lord and telling Him how i feel like no one in my life understands my struggle with panic attacks. Thank you for listening and responding. Im 21, the panic attacks started when I was 17 before I truly experienced the Lord for the first time. I would preach at my school for morning devotions and though I had always experienced mild fear speaking in front of people, it became unbearable and i would have such bad panic attacks. My face would flush so much and i wanted to run but i wanted to be obedient to God at the same time so i continued leading them for weeks. Whether real or percieved, they made me feel so embarassed and rejected by others because of the obvious embarassment that came from them. I then became embarassed in most any and every situation and became super afraid of flushing and embarassment in public for the fear of rejection. It has catapulted into other areas like seeing people i know unexpectedly in public, i feel that i will always be embarassed so i dread it happening but it has happened a lot. I feel like God has told me he desires to set me free but at the same time sometimes i feel.he uaes it tp cause me to depend on him more. I cant make sense of it. Thru him it has gotten better but i wish i had a clear direction to follow. Is it a trial i must forever endure or something short lived that i will soon be free from? I wish i knew bc sometimes it seems like both. Thank you:)

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    1. Dear Anonymous,
      Jesus most definitely want's to set you free from panic attacks, and the first step to do this is to be set free from the fear of panic attacks. Panic attacks are a great big con, a trick, threatening all sorts of things that won't come to pass. May I encourage you to read this article on panic attacks, and more importantly, please read the three articles I link below, and then you will understand in detail how to be set free from anxiety and fear.

      How depression/anxiety causes its symptoms

      Facing depressions/anxieties symptoms instead of fearing them

      Breaking depression's fear cycle.

      Galatians 5:1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.
      John 8:36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

      God bless
      Peter


      God bless
      Peter

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  49. I am 24 years old, from Costa Rica. I started suffering from panic attacks last October. I thought I was being punished by God. I am so thankful that this is not a punishment, but instead something that appears to be common around the world, and also common among Christians.

    I definitely feel that God blessed me buy leading me to your blog. Please NEVER DELETE it! I have read this blog several times after and during an attack and it has helped me so much.

    May God bless us, every single person that had the courage to go on this blog and share their experience. The comments have also made me feel secure, it is nice to know I am not going crazy, that there are many other people like me.

    -Mari

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  50. I just commented above I wanted to made a correction--- I didn't think it was a "punishment", but instead the thought ran through my mind.

    The truth is I have been under a lot of stress, my panic attacks were due to the fact that I thought I had committed blasphemy against the Holy Spirit with my mind, or with my thoughts. That was due to my ignorance on the topic. I was not aware about what Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit actually is, however, my mind tries to convince me that I am no longer saved and that there is no hope for me, which led to panic attacks.

    But the Voice of Truth tells me a different story! :)

    Matthew 12:33 (after Jesus has explained about blasphemy against the Holy spirit)

    “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. 34 You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. 35 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. 36 But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. 37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

    I love Jesus with all my heart, and there is nothing more than I desire than His presence, His forgiveness, salvation and love. My panic attacks came because I thought in my mind what I feared the most. I now know my panic attacks are not related to Jesus, or any type of punishment, or the enemy. But instead, it is my nervous system, my own thoughts, and also the fact that I just got married 3 weeks ago. I have thought a lot about my future, and my job and that has definitely brought me a lot of stress.

    Again, thank you so much for the blog, and please do not delete it. It has comforted me so much.

    -Mari.

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    1. Dear Mari,

      I am so glad to hear that the Lord Jesus is setting you free from those horrible fears and attacks, by showing you the truth, that they were not from God, but simply your nervous system and thoughts.

      Thank you also for letting me know that the blog has been a blessing to you :)

      Keep pressing into Jesus, and keep your eyes fixed on Him, for He loves you sooo much.

      God bless
      Peter

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  51. I have been going through theses attacks for 7 days now and I haven't been eating right, my symptoms are exactly like yours and they are sooooo scary!!!! I had to much oxygen in my body and seized up all over I could hardly move and I had to go to the hospital. I thank my family and God for helping me get through this, I was having a panic attack well I was reading what you wrote and now I feel more calm.

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    Replies
    1. Dear Anonymous,

      Sorry to hear that you have been struggling with panic attacks. Please read this article again and again, and learn the AWARE steps off by heart. When you know that they are basically one big trick, and know how to respond to them when they come, you will stop fearing them. When you stop fearing them, you can be set free of them.

      God bless
      Peter

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  52. I don't get panic attacks, but I do struggle with depression. Even though I don't get panic attacks I must say that I feel discomfort in new situations, particularly when there is a lot of stress. Thank you so much for sharing, God bless you.

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    1. Hi Linda,

      Thanks for dropping by. Regarding depression, feel free to download thefree booklet on depression on this blog, as it present the articles in sequential order.

      God bless
      Peter

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  53. Thank you for this site which is such an outpouring of the love of God from a true disciple of Christ, Peter, may God richly bless you. If someone had ever told me I would find myself the way I am here, never would I have believed it. Every day I feel I am swimming in a sea of pain that is so turbulent and dark that I can hardly believe I am able to keep breathing. I have read your messages and keep them open on my screen. Also I listen to Dr We ekes recordings. I have periods of pretty severe depression for the past 30 years, but never anything like this nightmare that began about six months ago. I had never had much of an issue with anxiety, my depression had few physical symptoms in the past. My body now feels like a strange prison to me, almost daily some new horrifying symptom appears, I fly to the computer and google the symptoms and learn the graphic details of crippling fatal diseases, cancer, MS, ALS,then there is no comfort for me, I feel I am lying in the corrodor of hell. Many days are spent in that motion. All the while my Bible is before me, on myknees in prayer when I'm able to get to the point that I can speak or think. My husband, daughter, sisters try their best to hell me. My sisters have similar anxiety to a lesserdegree managed with medication. I refuse any medication because of my fears about the effect on my eyesight. I was never like this before. I lost 25 lbs during this past year and when the dr showed me the reality of what had happened to me, and the insanity of it, I think I have nearly crumbled to pieces. All my life I have had very good health, very active and strong, and fearless in most ways. I don't even know the person I am now. The terror I feel that I have one of the horrible diseases just cannot be expressed. I don't even want tests because everything I fear is incurable and I feel collapse, fainting a real possibility for me in facing a cold medical room. I just cannot cope with it. Therefore I am trapped. I don't see how I can practice not giving attention to the fearful thoughts, when I cannot be convinced they have no basis of truth. I understand the adrenaline that this causes the rush of fear and panic. My home used to be a place of joy and refuge for me, but it is now a form of prison and dread. No solution has been possible for this.. I honestly believe that if I could have gotten out from under this stress even a couple months ago that I would have recovered and goneback to living but now the fears have gone wildly in all directions and it is too insane now to even talk about it. It is now an isolating thing. I realize that my family and friends who have been so supportive won't be able to relate to me or take me seriously, so to protect myself and them I have to keep it all to myself. My life was very full and I had richness in my Christian walk until this spring when it all came crashing down. I had helped form An intersessory prayer group at my church. I was truly devoted to the Lord and had great energy and enthusiasm for finding new ways to love and be of some service to others. Now I look at myself, a crazy old lady scanning her body all day and walking the floor all night, unable to eat and hardly to breathe, nothing but self preoccupied becoming more each day a fright to my family, I wonder is this the end of the road for me. I've painted myself into a corner and cannot get out of this place. I am sorry this was so long.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Dearest Anonymous,

      Being stuck in the depths of severe depression is a prison, and that is exactly what I called it during my darkest days. I too feared I could not get out of that black place - but I did get out. So please take hope that you can get out too. The first thing I would ask you to do is to stop googling the symptoms that you are experiencing. That will just cause you to fear more, when the fact is that these symptoms are caused by depression flooding your nervous system with too much adrenalin. (Of course, get yourself checked out by a doctor to relieve your mind.) Please read this article to see many of depression's symptoms
      How depression/anxiety causes its symptoms.

      The next thing I would suggest is that you talk to a doctor about medication, for the right medication literally makes the world of a difference. If you can't go to a doctor to get the medication yourself, please get your husband or a close friend to take you. It took my mother to force me to go, and I am so glad I did. The medication helped me so much. It greatly reduces the severity and duration of depression's symptoms, even helps you to think more clearly.

      Also, please read the articles on this blog, which are available in this booklet:
      Free booklet on depression. I would recommend you read them before and after going onto the medication. You will find you respond better after going onto the meds, though.

      I have been through everything you described above, and yet recovered from it and had a normal, faith filled life again. So please press into Jesus, ask Him to take you by the hand, and lead you through, and out of this and into His abundant life.

      God bless
      Peter





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    2. I'm currently suffering with severe panic attacks where I can't leave my house it's gotten that bad and it's been a year since I had them , past 2 months it's been hard for me to go anywhere from my home , I'm Definitly searching for an answer from God , praying Listening to sermons , it's really bad and effecting my family , I need some advice on what I should do , the physical symptoms are too scary to accept , my pulse goes through the roof and gets hard to breath , I think I'm in so much fear 24/7 that my body is tired of this , I'm not on meds I'm kinda scared to take them too :(. What advice whoud you give me. Thank you

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    3. Dear Anonymous,

      You can overcome these panic attacks and be free from them. All you need is courage and determination to push through with the techniques I will re-list just below. (You already possess those qualities, but all the same, ask Jesus to talk you by the hand and lead you through this. Let His strength fill you.) The first thing you need to remember, though, is that panic attacks are a lie, a deception. If your doctor has already given you a clear bill of health, remember that ALL of the symptoms you are experiencing are caused by the excessive adrenalin caused by panic attacks. This adrenalin cannot hurt you. You don't have any of the diseases etc you may fear you have.

      Also, please see your doctor again, and if they recommend medication, do not fight it. The meds will reduce the severity of the panic attacks and make it so much easier for you to overcome them. If you start taking meds, allow upto three weeks for them to kick in. Expect some side mild effects in the first week or so, but remember they'll pass. Do NOT read the pamphlet that comes with the meds, get a family member to read it and watch you for side effects.

      To overcome panic attacks, with courage and determination, follow the same steps with EVERY attack that comes, and you will beat them:

      Break the Panic Attack Cycle using the AWARE Technique:

      A- Accept the panic attack. Do not fear it or fight it. Fearing or fighting it just makes it worse. Just let it be there for now, like background music. Do not be afraid that you may have more panic attacks in the future. Let them come.

      W- Watch the panic attack, by rating it right now on a scale of 1 to 100, 100 being the worse it has ever been in the past, and 1 meaning it has gone. Remember all anxiety attacks follow a pattern in that they increase to a peak and then decrease and stop. So do not be alarmed at its intensity during its worse phase. It will pass.

      A- Act normal Carry on as normal. If you are currently engaged in an activity, concentrate on that activity. Otherwise, find something constructive to do, such as going for a walk, weeding the garden, washing the car. If you stop being active and focus on the panic attack and the fearful topic associated with it, it will suck you in and it will get temporarily worse. However, if you carry on as normal, choosing to focus on something else, the panic attack will start to fade.

      R- Repeat Let time pass and keeping repeating the above three steps until the panic attack has faded away.

      E- Expect Expect the best and remember that this panic attack will end soon just like all the previous ones did. Furthermore, expect each future attack to reduce in severity and duration, the more times you react to them with the AWARE technique. Eventually, you will no longer fear them and will be able to nip them in the bud before they start.

      God bless,
      Peter

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  54. Dear Peter,
    I have just found your blog. I want to say thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
    In His love,
    Judy

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    Replies
    1. Dearest Judy,
      You're most welcome :)
      God bless
      Peter

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  55. Dear Peter,

    Iam Kriss from Poland. have been fighting depression for several years. When I was at the University, I received Jesus as my personal savior. At the same time, my girlfriend left me, so my first steps in Christian faith were marked with the struggle against depression due to the rejection. But as time passed and I personally met Jesus and followed him, everything changed. I led my life in peace and joy until the time, when my love grew cold, old sins returned, I thought myself to be self-sufficient and one day it hit me bad. Anxieties and fears struck me and I was convinced that God had abandoned me and I was going insane. I rolled into the hell of depression. However, I stuck to God and I managed to overcome the hardest time and was healed eventually without medical help. After three years of normal life, unfortunately, it has returned. I thought that I was fully ok and this would never come upon me again, but it did. The memories of previous suffering take so much will to recover. Is there a chance to beat it down once and forever and leave this vicious cycle? Maybe I should consider taking meds this time? Or better press on my own? Thanks for keeping this blog.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Hi Kriss,

      Thank you for the message and for sharing your dealings with depression. If depression has come back, you may find that you have recurring depression, otherwise known as major depressive disorder. Please see your doctor and talk to them about it, and they can confirm your situation accurately. If the doctor recommends medication, you should prayerfully consider taking it. Note that it can take up to three weeks to receive the full benefits from the medication. But once it is working, the medication can greatly reduce the severity and duration of panic attacks.

      You should also consider getting Christian counselling from a pastor or trained counsellor who knows about depression, so that you can face and overcome any underlying problems that could be part of the reason why the depression came back. Sometimes getting set free from such problems can be all you need to stop depression returning. However, counselling is often more effective when the depression sufferer is taking anti-depressants as well.

      And throughout this all, keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, and ask Him to take you by the hand each morning and lead you through the day.

      God bless
      Peter

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  56. I am so filled with fear and anxiety about a very real very scary financial situation where I have to find money I need to find to pay bills and I do not know where to turn to get it ... I have come to realise that although I have been a Christian all my life but I have very weak faith muscles. My spiritual life is an ebb and flow situation and it is like being on a roller coaster. I am trying so hard at the moment to "let go and let God" and then I worry that I am just sitting doing nothing... and I just feel guilty all the time. I have lost confidence and keep asking the Lord for direction and guidance and I dont know what I am doing wrong that I dont hear him... I dont know what to do or how to focus properly or how to maintain the very fleeting moments of peace and connection and yes... there is that silent scream inside me.

    There are so many different and divided opinions out there and I am torn between whether I need to listen to the advice of experts or focus on God. It feels to me like nothing is natural and that everything I do is forced and orchestrated.... and then the feelings of guilt start all over again and I dont know if my lucid moments are just me dumbing down and opting out or whether they are moments of peace... but when the panic hits, everything I have been trying to do to focus on God and hear what he has to tell me just flies out the window

    There is souch that is familar in what you and your readers have said that it gives me a little hope... but everything still seems so bleak at the moment and the money crisis all too real

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    1. Dear Anonymous,

      I pray that the Lord Jesus will give you His peace, and a deep sense and belief in the fact that He is sovereign - He is in charge of all things. I pray that He will also not only provide for all of your financial and physical needs, but will give you practical guidance in these areas as well. In His name I pray, Amen.

      Also, regarding your anxiety attacks, are you able to see a pastor or counsellor to help you work through the fears associated with them, and to join you in prayer for your circumstances? You could also consider seeing a doctor, to get their opinion regarding when you need medical help to reduce the severity and duration of the attacks.

      Please keep pressing into Jesus - He is faithful and true,

      God bless
      Peter



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  57. I just wanted to thank you for this extremely helpful blog. I'm in the midst of yet another panic fueled valley - I had a good two years being semi-free from it, but lately it is really roaring back. When I'm in the midst of these things I feel like the wrath of God is coming down on my head. But I know that this stuff is not God. It is ME! It is my own self-doubt, self-hate, and fear drowning me! Part of my problem is I'm constantly afraid (to a hypochondriac level) of death. Which is a really bad place to be for someone who believes in God. If anything I should be looking forward to the day I can be with God, but because of my self doubt and panic I fear that God is mad at me or won't accept me in to heaven because of my mistakes and sins. Anyway- This really helps me when I read the part about how this stuff is not God. As crazy as it sounds I keep getting tricked in to thinking it is.

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    1. Dear Anonymous

      Thanks for the comment and for sharing what you've been going through. Anxiety attacks really are one massive deception. Knowing that this is the case is the first step in overcoming them.

      God bless
      Peter

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  58. Peter, thanks for helping us panic sufferers. Are you off of medication now?

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    1. Hi Anonymous,

      You're welcome :)

      After recovering from depression back in the 1990s, I was medication-free for ten years. With the return of major depressive disorder in late 2010, I went back onto meds in 2011. I have come a long way since then, but the depression is still there. I am still taking meds, but at a reduced dosage.

      God bless
      Peter


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    2. Peter, wish I would have found this months ago. I started suffering extreme stress and paralyzing anxiety after making a move for a job that was close to my Loved ones. This was always my dream to be near Family and progress my career but as soon as I arrived the complete chaos I was in took over. I thought this was God's way of saying I made a mistake by moving. ultimately, I asked my former boss for my job back and headed back to where we came. I feel sick about the pain I caused those around me , devastated that I miss such an incredible opportunity to 'have it all', and confused as to why this happened to me. Never before did I experience anything like the this and I am still trying to recover. Have not slept soundly in months, mind keeps racing on the what ifs and continued waves of anxiety. My stomach burns, tightness in chest, inability ot focus. sweaty palms and feet and other factors keep me from being my best. all I want is to feel like I did before I moved.

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    3. Dear Anonymous,

      You can go back to how you were previously. And be set free from such fears and anxieties, so that in the future, you can make decisions based on faith rather than anxiety and fear. You have already learned one liberating truth - you now know that this is not God's voice, it is not His guidance.

      First, can I encourage you to read the below three articles, as well as the Panic Attacks article above, several times each until it is ingrained in your thinking.

      How depression/anxiety causes its symptoms
      Facing depressions symptoms instead of fearing them
      Breaking depression's fear cycle.

      Also, have you seen a doctor regarding your current symptoms? If may be beneficial if you were to go on medication temporarily, to help get your nervous system back under control, and to help you sleep better. I would also suggest that you get some Christian counselling or therapy to help you address the fears that arose through this situation.

      Please keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, and let Him lead you through this and out the other side. Into more abundant life.

      God bless
      Peter

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    4. I just cannot believe how everything fell apart so quickly from the 1st panic attack to trying to pick up the pieces still. Maybe it was too much change all at once. My mind keeps racing about how I missed such a great chance and now stuck in a worse off situation then before. Now I really feel I made the wrong decision and there is nothing that can reverse that for now. I have seen a doctor, but the sleeping pill is not working just yet.

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    5. Dear Anonymous,

      That's good you have seen a doctor. Are you able to see a Christian counsellor as well?

      Regarding your current situation, you need to remind yourself that Christ is Lord of your life, and over all parts of your life. He is with you where you are now. Please cast away all thoughts that you have made the wrong decision and that you are worse off. Jesus is with you, right where you are. Thank Him for your current situation, confess His Lordship over it, and then trust Him with no more second guessing or worrying you've made a mistake. This is God's promise to you - "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9. He promises to be with you wherever you go.

      God bless
      Peter



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  59. There is the Greatest comfort in that and I have always turned to God to draw strength and guidance. Trying to clear up the static in my head and focus on the present. I have not seen a counselor as of yet, but did speak to someone who gave an outside professional perspective. This situation has shaken me and know it will take time and hard work to move past the choices I made. The pain I have caused my child, Loved one, my employers and myself wears on me. Everything swirls in my head and has made me feel like a shell of my former self. While I know I cannot change what I have done, there is other courses of action that I will have to work toward. I have learned a lot of what I was not doing to the fullest and these lessons learned have made me start to re-evaluate. Thank You for you replies and ability to share your wisdom.-

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    1. Thanks, Anonymous, just glad I could help. I will remember you and your situation in my prayers.

      May I encourage you to pray each morning, "Help me, dear Lord, to be content to be who You made me to be today, to be content to be where You put me today, and to be content to be how You made me to be today." And rest in His love for you.

      God bless
      Peter

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  60. Thank You, Peter.

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  61. Dear Peter,
    Like many others I thank you for writing this blog. I am 59 and yet to find any Christian that has a good grasp on what I have and am going thru. The panic attacks started happening when I was in high school. My family attended a charismatic church that had very strict conservative views and we were basically threatened with "hell" if we sinned. Over the years I was able to forgive those with such views but the anxiety and panic attacks that I experienced has persisted. The symptoms of these panic attacks was misinterpreted by me as even desires coming from within even though that sounds strange. Finally I realized that it was irrational fear but didn't really connect it to panic attacks until a few years ago. The doctors I've gone to have prescribed depression medication but nothing seemed to have an effect. For a couple of years I saw a professional Christian counselor and also saw a psychologist to prescribe medication. I was given tools that helped but still didn't seem to address the problem in such a way where I was making much progress. About a month ago I purchased the book, "Panic Attack Workbook", by David Carbonell, Ph.D. and started reading it. Haven't gotten very far reading it but it talks about pathways in the brain that are formed as you obsess on these fears and that new pathways can be formed. This rang of truth because I had read about people that had formed new pathways in their brains after a brain injury had caused physical impairment. The impairment was overcome by them forming new pathways in their brain. That is a very basic explanation for something very complicated but it made sense to me but I wanted a Christian perspective also. Your blog has provided that. Not fighting the panic attacks seems that you're giving into sin so accepting it is hard to do but I know you're right. The nature of fear and panic is to cause a "fight or flight" response so trying to accept and let it happen is not easy. It has been so tough because I haven't found any Christian that has experienced exactly what I have gone thru. Many are sympathetic to my situation but are at a loss of how to help so after I saw the Christian counselor I decided to keep it to myself. Some tell me to just not fear and trust God and memorize scripture that pertains to fear. I've done this and in fact that helps but the symptoms persist. It's also been helpful to read about other people here in these posts that have experienced similar symptoms. Don't feel so all alone anymore. Thanks!

    Dan

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  62. Dear Peter, thank you for your blog. It has been helpful. I am 55 year old male that has been successful but have had changes in the last year that have caused me to lose my self confidence and have the overwhelming fear of not being able to provide for the family. I changed jobs because I was forced out. I sold our home and bought another one that has caused emotional havoc on myself (big stupid financial mistake) and have 3 kids in college. I wake up with the sweats and a pit in y stomach everyday, with the thought (or fear) that I will not be able to provide and pay the bills and at my age feel like I could lose my job at anytime. I keep on wishing or dreaming that I never sold our previous home....lots of remorse and guilt with that. I look back and see that I did it out of pride and did not heed the warning signs during the sale and purchase phase. I also make comparisons to my friends and feel like I a failure. I have never felt like this before in my life...is it a phase I'm going through? Is it a mid life crisis? I don't feel like I have depression but I am so unhappy and it's hard for me to have fun or enjoy anything right now because I'm so focused on the fear of failure to my family. Any suggestions would be gratefully accepted.

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    1. Dear Anonymous,

      Thank you for your comment and your questions. I could be completely wrong in my answer, so please take it with a grain of salt. But it sounds like to me that after you bought your new house, you began to fear that you made the wrong choice. These fears blossomed into a cycle of constantly reflecting that you'd made a mistake, making you even more fearful. Second guessing a decision/change we make in our life can often cause such a reaction, even cause a cycle of panic attacks. Your fear of losing your job again could also be triggered by over sensitive state of anxiety.

      Regarding the element of pride, you would need to confess that sin to God, and then receive and stand on His forgiveness. He promises to forgive us and clean us of all unrighteousness when we repent and confess the sin.

      The next thing I would do is ask your wife for her opinion about your fear that you made the wrong decision in changing home. No doubt she will have a healthy perspective on all of this, and in which case, you need to choose to accept her perspective every time the fear comes up. It will take time to break your fear-cycle habit of fearing you made a mistake, to believe and accept what she has told you instead. But stick with it and you'll get there.

      And regardless of all that, Jesus promises to be with us wherever we go, as long as we obey His Word. "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9.

      So trust in Jesus that as with the previous house, and in this one, He was and is with you. There is no wrong decision, as such. Also, God is bigger than your situation, He can provide all your financial needs. Trust Him.

      You mentioned you have three kids in college. Do they have part time jobs? I would suggest that you ask them to put money towards the electricity, water, gas bills etc. Or pay a regular flat amount each week. I'm sure they'll understand how that can help you manage the financial burden you are currently under.

      Hope this helps,
      God bless
      Peter



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  63. Thanks for your response. I have asked for forgiveness for my pride. Everyday I pray for God's guidance, seeking His will. I find myself vulnerable and crying tears asking for God's peace. You're right about my second guessing...I have so much turmoil over remorse for the house purchase. I have approached my wife and she knows and have seen my angst. She doesn't think it was a wrong move....we could have a long debate over it...but I am emotionally attached to the old house..we lived there 23 years and raised the kids there. I have sought counsel from my brother and have leaned on him to discuss my anxiety. I know I should be grateful, count my blessings. I was raised in a Christian home by Godly parents and know the scriptures inside and out. I need to live by what God has promised us in scripture.....as you said..I need to trust in Jesus as in the previous house that he will supply. I am tired of the viscous cycle of regret, wishing things back, crying out and generally being unhappy. Please lift up a prayer for me.

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    1. Dear Toddo,

      You're welcome, and thanks for the prayer request. What I would like you to do now is change your thinking. When you have done that, you will break out of this cycle of anxiety, remorse, and guilt.

      Firstly, please write down your wife's perspective on your moving house and memorize it. Every morning, reflect on her perspective, accepting it as the correct perspective, and reject your own. She is seeing things correctly, your 'sight' has been distorted by your current anxious frame of mind and emotions.

      Secondly, every morning when you wake, and throughout the day, thank Jesus that moving to this new house is His will for your lives. And not just thank Him for the new house, but praise Him for it too.

      You must turn your back on wanting to go back to the past. To rest in God's will, you cannot look wistfully upon the past, nor longingly for the future, but be content and thankful to be where you are right now. Remember Lot's wife when she wouldn't stop looking back to the town they left?

      God bless
      Peter









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  64. Hi, I'm 20 years old and I feel like it was part of God's plan to lead me on to this website. I have been suffering from major panic attacks/anxiety for 5 months now following a car accident. I have experienced difficulty breathing, fear of having a heart attack, chest pressure/pain, migraines, muscle weakness, leg pain.. you name it! I have cried so many times over this disorder and I have tried everything in my will to eliminate these attacks but just when I think I'm cured, I get another panic attack, sometimes I get to a point where I want to just crack because it's so difficult living like this but regardless of the struggle, I haven't lost my faith in the Lord, I know that he's working on it. He loves us so much to ever give up on us. I pray everyday that someday I will never have to experience such torture again.

    When I get these attacks, I always say to myself that God will never hand you something that you cannot handle. He's amazing and what ever you guys do, do not ever lose faith in him! We serve a wonderful Lord and he will not fail on us.

    Philippians 4:6
    Don't worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.

    This scripture helps me a lot and I hope that it could help everyone else too.

    God Bless
    Aishat.

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  65. Just found your Blog. Thanking God for you and so many other brave souls seeking God's wisdom in managing depression and/or panic attacks. I've suffered with panic attacks from childhood to present age (44). Psych meds help some, but the attacks persist. Not sure how and why God is allowing me to suffer. Makes me feel so hopeless, exhausted and alone at times. Not sure if anyone can relate but the most recent wave of panic attacks (past year) have occurred only at night when I am sound asleep. Been very hard to employ the AWARE when I'm so out of it anyway. Thank you for your Blog. God bless you!

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    1. Dear Rachel

      Thanks for dropping by and sharing what you've been going through. Suffering from an anxiety disorder like panic attacks certainly can make us feel alienated from others. However, spending time with supportive, encouraging friends is very often the very thing that can provide so much encouragement. I haven't heard of panic attacks during sleep before. Are you sure they are not night terrors? Can be similar in appearance, but as night terrors continue when we wake up, very hard to stop. They can be dealt with, though :)
      http://cornerstonethefoundation.blogspot.com/2009/12/depression-and-night-terrors.html

      At any rate, if you haven't already discussed them with your doctor, I recommend you do so.

      God bless
      Peter




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  66. Thank you so much! I though i was alone in what i was going through, thinking it was God... at one point it drove me away from God because i became tormented. I finally drew back to Him about a year ago, but those feelings began to creep in again. Im still hanging in there, but continue to suffer from anxiety which brought me to this site. So thank you, your words brought tears to my eyes, thank you for sharing!

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    1. Dear Angie

      So glad the post has been of encouragement. Thanks for letting me know,
      Keep pressing into Jesus, He will never leave nor forsake you.

      God bless
      Peter

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  67. I had my first and second panic attack yesterday and today. I have had anxiety attacks before but they've been so spaced out. With them I only felt anxious like I was freaking out and had the urge to move around. Yesterday there was a crying fit and I kept pulling on my hair (being anxious makes my head and scalp feel funny) and my hands were trembling. Today—honestly I'm not sure what happened. One minute I was reading something and the next there was buzzing sensation in my chest, tingling mouth, and I guess I felt like I was losing control over my body. I was able to keep from hyperventilating when I started calling Jesus and thanking him that he was with me. Then I started muttering scriptures like Psalm 118:17 and Isaiah 54:17. I ended up going to urgent care because of the heart palpitations I had been having and they did a EKG and said everything look good. Now I'm just trying to rest my sleep schedule has been terrible.

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    1. Dear Anonymous

      Thank you for sharing what you went through today. The experiences you have shared above all sound like typical symptoms created by negative, fear related adrenaline. So what you are experiencing is completely normal. When too much adrenaline floods our body, it creates all sorts of unpleasant side effects. It comes from what is called a flight or fight cycle, and the good news is that you can learn how to break this cycle. Please read these posts below:

      How depression/anxiety causes its symptoms

      Facing depressions symptoms instead of fearing them

      Breaking depression's fear cycle.

      Hang in there, you can overcome this and have a normal life again.

      God bless
      Peter

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  68. I am a new christian I have been taking panic attacks for 2months now, what triggers them of is when i think of my teenagers not being saved, they are now taking over my life everything has changed 2like a dream mode which is affecting family life, i feel so crippled with them and have lost alot of weight. I dont know whether to medicate or hold off for a while. Really glad i found this page as it has made me realise im not alone and there is hope.

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  69. Father God pray for me I been suffering from chest pain and panic attack real bad I will not fight it and I will not fear it because it the name of Jesus Christ it will fade away just keep faith and God will do the rest in the name.of Jesus Christ god im praying and crying out for your help please I pray amen

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  70. Having read much of your blog, I feel like I am you, but older without no relief. I get so sick & tired of the ones that have been there, done that and come out the other end as brilliant sunshine, after only a few years. I am a born-again christian (ironic, isn't it) that has been thru the mill over and over and over again all my adult life of 45 years (and some adolescents) with acute anxiety, major depression, panic attacks, agoraphobia, social phobia, you name it, I got it. Now that I am an old man, I am sooo over it, and after much thought, I now seriously stand on the precipice of departure from this ugly world (like many times before, but was younger then, therefore had hope...what a lot bollocks).
    I have been sliced and diced by the best of the best in Christian counsellors, Drs , psychiatrists, seasoned pastors, prayer teams and so on until one day, i was dropped into the too hard basket (who could blame them). And yes, I got and read all the books, including all Dr. Claire weekes books, back in the late 70s which had minimal impact on me. I take a cocktail of drugs everyday to keep me in check, so much so I feel like a junkie and emotionally numb; and now face further complications in health from these drugs as I get older. I am across all the teachings of scripture and have been slain in the spirit at times. However I do not speak in tongues despite others saying otherwise (again, the feel good folk trying to paint a happy clappy picture of the perfect Christian)
    And yes, you can throw scriptures at me all day, every day, that doesn't make a dent on me. This is not the life I signed up for when I earnestly became a Christian 25 years ago (after a basic grounding in the anglican church as a child), I thought things would really change for me. How naive was I.
    I have lost everything in life - career goals, jobs, marriage, friends. I am sorry, but I do not have any strength nor "faith" to see me through this wretched life. I am done.
    Im sorry to say I read this blog with some anger giving people hope and a cure - not everybody is healed and life is a total misery; I guess I can be thankful that I am not homeless, but that is not an issue where I'm heading now.

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    1. Dear Anonymous,

      I guess that there isn't much I can say that hasn't already been said to you.

      But let me share that after sixteen years of being depression free, it returned with a vengeance in 2010, and I am still experiencing dark days almost as bad as when it triggered six years ago. Days of extreme anxiety, major depression, and OCD.
      However, in spite of that, I recognise that the way in which we react to what assails us has a huge effect on how it badly it hurts us. That's why Jesus said that we should not let our hearts be troubled. Every day, in spite of how sick I am with depression, I continue to praise and thank Him. And not just for all the blessings and good things, but I praise Him and thank Him for all these hard times too, because I know all things are in His hands, and that He promises to use all things for good.

      So I would like to challenge you to do just that. Praise and thank Jesus in, through, and for all you are going through. Let this renew your mind and change your thinking patterns.

      Not everyone recovers completely from depression, but we can learn to cope with it and live near to normal if not completely normal lives in spite of it.

      Hang in there, please press into Jesus, don't give up on faith in Him.

      Peter

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  71. I have read this prayer online and was surprised how effective it was. You have to tell Satan out loud (because Satan can't hear your thoughts) something like this "Stay away from me Satan with these anxious thoughts, stay away from me with your temptations and attempts to ruin me, you have no business being around me, depart from me, In Jesus name I pray AMEN" I do this under my breath several times a day sometimes, and it helps! God never wants us to be anxious for NOTHING, it's Satan who is trying to bring us down with fear and worry. I struggle with anxiety and fear since I was a little girl, I would use to tell my mom "Im scarred" and she would ask of what , and Id tell her "I dont know, I just feel scarred, like something bad is about to happen" She would give me lemon balm tea to try to calm me down, once I had a panic attack and ended up in the ER as a little girl. I have tried a laundry list of medications but NOTHING helped me as much as my faith in God (although I still fall sometimes, we all do). What drew me to Christianity was the promise of peace, I knew it was possible and some people seemed so at peace , and I wanted to know their "secret" , I knew there had to be more to life and there was a way to experience the peace "not as the world gives."
    I pray all of us find peace in God every single day. We can't do it alone but we can do it with God.

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  72. Hi,

    I ended up going to hospital 2 days back because of a panic attack and that was the first time I felt like I am loosing my mind. In the last 48 hours I have had them multiple times. I am glad that God brought me to your page. It's a very comforting thing to know that I am not alone and I am not going to be insane. After reading your article I am actually waiting for my next attack to come so that I can practice the concept of AWARE and not fight or be afraid of it. Not that I want it to come again but if does come I know how to handle it now. Thank you brother and God bless you and all the other people around the world who are suffering the same.

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  73. Thank you Peter for the sharing.
    i had panic attacks for past 3 years and had been living with it without medication with help of prayer, relaxation and yoga. My last year saw only minor 1 or 2 attacks. Last day all of a sudden I developed it crushing me in my spirit. I was devastated. It was unexpected. But now in retrospection I can find that I was harbouring insecurity, negative thoughts at times. I find it extremely difficult when people make harsh comments about my physical appearance. I can find humor in many of such situations. But not always. I usually develop panic attacks following these. So can you please suggest how to correct my thoughts nd my insecurities as I can clearly see these predisposes me to the attacks. I look forward to do my daily works sincerely and positively. Thank you once again for sharing these. Its extremely helpful :-)

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    1. Dear Anonymous,

      Thank you for your comment. Regarding people commenting on your physical appearance, whenever this happens, turn your thoughts to Jesus, and remind yourself what He thinks of you. That He looks at the inside, not the outside. That you are precious to Him, the apple of His eye, that He created you in His image. I also suggest that you spend some time each day in prayer with Jesus, reflecting on these Bible verses, and what they mean to you.

      One thing I noticed with panic attacks, was just as you have explained above, there can be certain situations that trigger them. I found it helped when approaching one of these situations to prepare myself for the eventuality that they could trigger and attack, and be ready for it. When the trigger came, I tried to ride it out without giving in to it.

      God bless
      Peter






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    2. Thank you . Please keep me in your prayers.

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    3. Dear God..
      in your strong hands, I place my life today, choosing to depend on You to light and guide my way.
      amen

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  74. Panick attack is the worse feeling ever. You feel like you are not yourself. But today at church, a visiting pastor preached into me. Before his preaching, I was going a panick attack and though I was going to fall down. He told us that we should not ask God to do something for us. That's we should thank God for healing us and for resorting us. That's when Jesus died for us he paid the price in full and that God healed us then. All we have to do is claim our healing, claim our peace of mind, claim our well
    Being. I claim our well being in Jesus name. I am healed by the stripes of our savior and by the healing power of our Father. No worries as he had healed me. Amen

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  75. God is awesome, fear not. We receive his healing in Jesus name. Amen

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  76. Dear Peter, I have been under panick attack for 3 months now. I have never experience this agony and despair situation before but it all started on march 2016 during the night time when I was preparing to go to bed. It was real shock because I felt as if I am passing out, the heartbeat was accelerating to the point that I felt loosing the energy in my entire body, there was a fear of death , it was terrible and I though I had heart attack but I decided to pray and took a rest , it ended about an hour. Then I slept as normal. Since that day the fear of having an attack was developed and from now onward I have been living under constant panick attack to the point that I had to thinks God is guiding me and He is rebuking me. I had to be in repentance every time in the essence that, I mighty die but even if death comes , I will be having an assurance to stay with Christ into His presence. As the days goes I didn't know exactly what is happening to me as I was loosing hope each day, I had heard about panick attack before but I didn't bother to check it and to know about it , yesterday I had a panick attack , I decided to pray and rebuke the fear , that is where I felt directed into this blog , when I started reading, I almost blast into tears because I saw how the thing which has been tormenting me is, I said with a loud voice , " devil , you are a liar" . Because now I have seen how devils deception and trap is, I have decided to stay strong in the Lord,,I won't fear panick attack again , with the help from the Lord I will stay strong

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  77. Any suggestions for those of us who have panic attacks while riding in a car, especially on the interstate. I have suffered many years with panic attacks associated with traveling on interstates. Looking for suggestions outside of mess to overcome this if possible.

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  78. Dear Tasha, one thing would be to prepare for it by knowing it could happen, and be ready to use the AWARE technique above. If you are not afraid it may happen, you are already beginning to rob it of its power.

    You could also trying distraction techniques. If you are not the driver, count trees, or certain colour cars, or letterboxes, even do complex maths equations in your mind. Obviously, these will not work if you are the driver, for you have to concentrate on the driving. If the driver, can you put on some beautiful Christian worship songs that you know, and then sing along to them, worshiping the Lord.

    Hopefully some other readers will have some ideas too,

    God bless
    Peter

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  79. I am having really bad anxiety attacks since i became a Christian 1year ago. Some people are telling me its spiritual attack and others tell me its depression. My triggers are end times articals and conversations as my family are not saved. I feel so guilty as i should be wanting Jesus to return but i really don't want my family in hell. Do you think satan is using this fear to hold me from growing in Christ or is it depression as i did suffer from it over 12years ago?. Im so confused!

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    1. Dear Anonymous,

      I recommend that you go to see a doctor and tell them what you are experiencing, and get their professional opinion. The fact that you are experiencing triggers about these things you fear, it sounds like normal panic attacks, if not depression. I also recommend that you talk to your pastor about these topics, and get their perspective on them, that is the things that cause you to trigger.

      There is nothing wrong with wanting Christ to return, every Christian longs for that. At the same time, we do need to be mindful that there is more work for us to do before He does return. So please keep praying for your family, and try to be a good witness for them, letting Christ's love shine through you.

      You may need to see a professional therapist to learn how to stop triggering when you encounter these situations. (And remember that too many Christians think all aspects of depression/anxiety attacks/mental health issues have a spiritual cause, and that's not true.)
      Hang in there, there is light at the end of the tunnel,
      God bless
      Peter







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  80. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this article. May God bless you for this work. I can afirm that God is using your talents to reach and answer His children.

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  81. Hi Peter,

    Thank you so much for this blog post. I am going through the same things you described but have seen God act in ways to prove me my fears are not real and this His love for me is.I was struggling with the same "peace" test in my life because of this verse Colossians 3:15 - GNT:The peace that Christ gives is to guide you in the decisions you make; for it is to this peace that God has called you together in the one body. And be thankful.

    However, I discovered that many translations say something different. In fact, they remind us that we must have Christ's peace in our hearts and lives but do not seem to imply that this "peace" or "lack of peace" should be a rule to making decisions: KJV -And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
    NASB - Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.

    Hope you can continue sharing on this as I'm getting married soon and on the path of healing with therapy and trust in what God is actually DOING in my life and His Word as opposed to what I'm feeling,

    Thank you

    MB

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    1. Hi MB,

      So encouraging to see how God is setting you free from the trap/lie of thinking Jesus leads us by taking away our peace. I used to use the GNT myself when I was younger, but stopped when I found out how inaccurate it is. The NASB is quite a good translation, so is the NIV.

      May I recommend that you get yourself a copy of the 'Interlinear Greek-English New Testament' so if you ever have questions about which translation is closest to the original Greek, you can check it.

      For example, for Colossians 3:15, a direct word-for-word translation of the Greek is 'And the peace of Christ - let rule in the hearts of you, to which indeed you were called in one body; and thankful be you.'

      I am glad you are getting therapy as well. It is important to have that particular fear dealt with before getting married.

      God bless
      Peter

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    2. Also, I really want to thank you so much for sharing about when you let fear control your life thinking it was God. It gave me so much insight of what the devil would have stolen from me. Like you, I also continue to battle fears fearing sickness, thinking I wanted to marry the wrong person, thinking I wasn't at the right job. Fortunately, I confront all my fears with physical exams, test them against God's Word and remind myself daily of everything God has done to support me even in my relationship with my fiancee(He actually gave me someone who studied mental health)... Wow! Again, thank you for existing, for this blog, just wow! I thought I was the only one dealing with these thoughts! God bless you brother Peter!

      MB

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  82. Peter,

    I have been on medication before for panic/anxiety/depression but always seem to hate the idea. For some reason I feel that God will think I think he is not enough. I have recently decided to give my life to God and it is a journey. I am so used to today's instant gratification. I find myself faithful and joyous during my calmish moments but as soon as I feel overwhelmed or panic I question it all. Your article is a good one. Thank you.

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    1. Dear Jessica,

      Please be assured that taking meds for depression does not mean God is not enough, nor that we don't have enough faith. I thank God for doctors and the medications they have discovered, such as anti-depressants, Ventolin, antibiotics, etc.

      May I encourage you to read the Free booklet on depression on this blog, and especially read the article on taking anti-depressants.

      God bless
      Peter

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  83. I was amazed at all these comments throughout the time I was reading this I said to mysekf man I need to this person thanks. I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder at age 12 but after two years I stopped getting the attacks. Now I'm a high schooler and it started again I really u first and what I can do now and well I really appreciate what you've written on this page as you can see it's a great privelidge to have been able to help the many people you did and again thank-you so much god bless.

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  84. LoneWolf9619 October 23, 2016 - I'm a Christan who seems to suffer from these panic attacks. The attacks originate from a fear of going to hell because of losing my faith. It's been a nightmare for a long time but I've only just now thought it could be just a panic attack. I don't know how to stop panicking though. I feel like if I stop fighting the panic attack, I'll lose my faith. Any advice?

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    1. Dear Lonewolf, the first thing to remember is that panic attacks are a trick, a lie. When we believe in Jesus and have accepted Him as Saviour and Lord, we are born again. We are saved by Jesus' almighty power, and nothing can snatch us from His hand. Fighting these attacks is only making you worse. Please keep re-reading this article about panic attacks, so that you know how to respond to them. Can you please also read the four articles below, for they will show you more practical steps for overcoming anxiety. I also recommend that you seek counselling from a Christian counsellor.

      How depression/anxiety causes its symptoms

      Facing depressions symptoms instead of fearing them

      Breaking depression's fear cycle.

      Addressing the fear we may have lost our salvation.

      Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus,
      God bless,
      Peter



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  85. Thank you for sharing the story. Almost one year ago (tomorrow to be honest) i got baptized - so since 3 years I found my way to God and into the church, but somehow my understanding of god was out of my childhood (my family is not religious at all) - so I read a lot and listened to the liturgy service, but somehow I still felt like you - that my anxiety is connected to the faith. And everytime I spoke to a religious person or a counsellor it flooded away, but somehow came again with new thoughts. So its nice to read your story and it rushed through my body and especially the bible verses give me strength to get out of it - with patience and trust. So thanks for that!

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    1. Hi Anton,
      My please. It can take many years to set us free from wrong conceptions of God received from our childhood. May I encourage you to read the Gospel of John, and ask to Jesus to reveal Himself to you as you read it. John was the disciple who was closest to Jesus, so we get some a wonderful view of Jesus beautiful heart when we read his gospel.
      God bless
      Peter

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