A Tip About Panic Attacks

One of the books that I read on vacation was entitled “maid” by Stephanie Land. A memoir, “maid” was  Stephanie’s story about how an unplanned pregnancy, and subsequent life as a single mom, saw her strapped in poverty for years as she struggled to support herself and her daughter.

For anyone who suffers from panic attacks, you know first hand how frightening and debilitating in the moment they can be. You most likely also know that they do tend to pass, and when we ground ourselves, we can help to dissipate the panic. A passage in the book that I earmarked spoke about how Stephanie handled her overwhelming feelings:

“At the stop sign at the end of the street, I pulled over to the curb. I leaned forward, pressing my forehead against the steering wheel. This had happened often in the last year. Whenever I felt the pain of loss – my chest caving in right at the hollow spot in the center – I found it best to stop and wait, to give the feeling a moment to pass. The pain didn’t like to be ignored. It needed to be loved, just as I needed to be loved. As I sat in my car, I breathed in and out, counting to five each time. I love you, I whispered to myself. I’m here for you. Reassurance of self-love was all I had.”

What I like about this passage is process, grounding, and affirmations; a great combination in how we can focus on the panic to help ourselves get through the overwhelming feelings. Being able to acknowledge our fears in the moment, breathe through them while focusing on our courage will help us to keep the love for our self close by.

A lovely story, “maid” is a worthy read.

Photo credit: Me!

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4 thoughts on “A Tip About Panic Attacks”

  1. this is a direct hot to me. at one time, while in the hospital, ay my worst point , i was having 5-6 panic attacks a day. they lasted between 30-60 minutes. it was dibilitating and totally exhaustive. the onlly way it could be stopped was with ativan

    • Hi Brian,
      Medication therapy is often an accompanying coping strategy that works to bring down a panic attack. Thank you for sharing your experience as it will validate others 🙂

  2. This quote is an illustration of radical acceptance, of stepping in and embracing. I first heard of this from a woman who was suffering with debilitating grief, to step in and embrace her feelings, especially when overwhelmed greatly shifted how painful her days were. Strength lies in the paradox.


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