Winning The Battle Over Panic Disorder
Panic can be rather debilitating for any of us. So when it becomes a risk alongside other toxins like negative emotions, anxiety, or stress, it can turn into a much bigger mess then we could had originally imagined. Many of the problems with being out of control because of panic, is the entire process happens, the shit hits the fan, and the panic is flooding our emotions before we barely even see it coming. It’s as if we don’t see it coming, until it’s already here.
It manifests out of nowhere sometimes, and as it instantly seems to arrive, we feel totally helpless, as if our hands are tied. So, how do we prepare for something like this? If it were a weather system, I’d refer to it as a tornado. With little warning and little prediction. Panic can be devastating, and it can do it in short time. Just like a cyclone.
There is however a technique for receiving and processing panic, which may help us with slowing down a little bit, and giving us the ability to tap into our mindfulness skills when it comes to the panic we may have.
It’s all about the alphabet, and the technique for dealing with panic is called the ABCDE Method. So let’s break it down, step by step, letter by letter.
Letter A refers to the Activating event. It makes a lot of sense for what it means. More often than not, something has to happen which kicks off events like panic attacks. Whether real or perceived. It can vary quite greatly. It can be an argument, a tragic event, a loss, or it can actually be a physical sensation as well. Inconspicuous in nature, but definitely present nonetheless.
I think often times, we fail to see the potential warnings that pending panic may give out. An awareness and mindfulness of the present time with what we’re doing is crucial if we want to be better prepared to tackle panic before it even hits.
We look at letter B to stand for Beliefs. At first many people assume that it stands for behaviors, but it’s really about our own beliefs about the experience we’re having.
The judgements and assumptions we’re making in order for us to concoct our own story. But while it can become a hectic time where we forget many points, I urge you to remember that you don’t have to believe everything you think.
As I always say,
“just because we think it, doesn’t mean it’s true.”
Some people refer to the word consequence, when getting to the letter C. However, that’s not the ironclad standard. I myself tend to lean more towards the letter C standing for the word Challenge instead. Here’s my philosophy on that.
What I consider the challenge in situations like impending panic, is to challenge the thought, the belief, the assumption, and the reason behind the panic. Is it reasonable or logical? Is it something blown totally out of proportion. Exaggeration can take us a long way off beaten paths. Often doing more harm than good.
Challenge the current perspective. Just because it’s the one we’re usually having, does that mean we have to remain rigid with it?
Also, are we panicking over a fact, or just an out of proportion opinion? Because that takes us right to letter D.
It’s about Discounting the beliefs that are irrational. We really need to deal with worries and fears that can be validated. And certainly not feed into the ones that are unrealistic.
Use letter E to Explore options as we move forward. Obviously panic cannot continue to be an option. It has to become controlled one way or another. Whether it becomes medically treated, or eliminated because we learn through the ABCDE process that it’s really not validated.
Sometimes people may also use letter E to stand for Emotional consequences. And what that really refers to is the same concept. Becoming victims of projected false panic, which then causes emotional stress, when it really just also is not validated. No matter what we use letter E for, it comes full circles, and points to the same concept and theory.
Panic can take a hard gripped control of our lives, and it may take us directions we never imagined possible. It’s a direction and journey that nobody is born prepared for. It’s just like other mental health issues.
It can be controlled, and just like anxiety, depression, and other diseases, it can be conquered when hard work, and self care becomes the commitment.
is a Trenton, New Jersey Author, Publisher, Columnist, Editor, Advocate, and recovering addict, covering topics of mental health, addiction, sobriety, mindfulness, self-help, faith, spirituality, Smart Recovery, social advocacy, and countless other nonfiction topics. His articles, publications, memoirs, and stories are geared towards being a voice for the voiceless. Hoping to reach others out there still struggling.