Christian Panic Attacks
Panic Attack Chart
What is a Panic Attack?
Put simply without exaggerating it is a paralyzing terror of a fear that you are going crazy or going to die, convincing you that you are trapped and helpless by an overwhelming threat in the mind, even though there really is no threat.They can ruin your morning, afternoon, evening, sleep, wake, and your entire life. Panic attacks are not regular social anxieties, they are tormenting fears.
To you who suffer panic attacks, you must always remember that these are illogical, irrational, and ridiculous -- then build an understanding on it. Though they are very convincing because the evidence you see produces side effects in the body, often the heart beat, they never possess any threat. If you are blood bought by Jesus Christ there is a cure, you are not a rare 0.1% that there is no cure for, there is a cure.
Children of the King, God is not punishing you for something, He is not mad at you, you are not in trouble, He did not rejected you and did not abandoned you. If you've ever had Holy Spirit conviction it is not fear, it is heart break. His presence is peace, not fear. God the Father does not father his children in terror. All your fears of panic attacks are a result of something that affected you in the wrong way and you let it get to you. I testify, God does not want you to live this way.
Don't Blame God
The most difficult thing for me to do was not blame God for my panic attacks. I eventually did, and my entire view of God changed and this was crushing and devastating. Friend, the devil is a liar, when you get in a storm the devil will do anything to mess it up between you and God. Panic attacks are like a bad seed planted by the enemy in a time of devastation, and what you are doing is re-enacting on the fear you learned. Additionally, I used to think this was all spiritual warfare and deliverance was necessary, sometimes it is -- but you do not need deliverance from an evil spirit in every panic attack, it can sometimes be treated as a habit that must be unlearned.
You are afflicted, but you will not be destroyed. Even today, and even tomorrow, nothing can separate you from the love of Christ. Isolation will bring anyone with this problem to ruin. We are not made to live in isolation, you have to do whatever you can to talk to someone off of the computer because that is healthy to have human interaction, and tell people how you feel. You don't always have to talk about your fears, just talk about other things you enjoy too :)
If you read the Bible in the middle of your turmoil you may have felt like me. I would read it in all my fear and nothing came about it. I recited promises in my mind such as, He gave us a sound mind and not a spirit of fear. They helped me a little bit but I never felt like I grasped the concept of what that really ment. I was thinking it and trying to believe it but it had no effect.
God is close to the broken hearted. Panic attacks are obviously devastating and heart breaking, but know that God is very close to you. He makes special note about people in such conditions, and he wants to be near you. Because God cares about you, He is near. So you ask, "Why am I not healed?"
Why Am I Not Healed?
The Bible says to examine ourselves daily. Don't worry, I'm not going to turn theological on you! But examine your heart and be honest with God. Probably the most important thing to ask God is to help you with your unbelief. If you take that as an insult, ask God to heal you of your pride. I have had to ask that so many times with believing what He says, and I will probably do it for many more years. God knows if you don't believe Him, so ask Him to help you believe what He says. Glory to God.
This may sound like the ABC's of Christianity but it's good to remember. There is no formula or special prayer when asking God for help. It all has to be with you being real and exposing your heart to God. If there is any wicked way in you ask God to remove it, especially with bitterness. A broken heart and contrite spirit He will not despise. The Bible talks so much about anxiety, worry, and fear but we often never read it until now. God tells us not to worry. That's pretty difficult. There are too many things we can't do without the presence of Jesus, apart from me you can do nothing.
Knowledge is a confident understanding of a subject. You see, the knowledge you have of panic attacks are probably fearful and life ruining, the knowledge you have of God may now be that he is distant and cruel because you are suffering. The Bible says, my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6). In Proverbs 19:2 it says, It is not good to have zeal without knowledge, nor to be hasty and miss the way. That verse suggests we should take our time collecting the knowledge of God.
Then the Bible tells us how to get this knowledge in Ephesians 1:17 [..] the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. The purpose for a spirit of wisdom and revelation is that we know Him. Ask God for the spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you can have more revelations of who God is and what He is like. I am not suggesting you have no knowledge or understanding at all, you certainly do -- but everyone lacks it somewhere. And I am not suggesting you you have to go to college and become a Bible Scholar to have knowledge of God, because you don't -- You need revelation, which means something being Revealed to you that you can not figure out on your own.
Please understand, this isn't only about knowledge, it also has to do with being in the presence of the Lord. Outside of His presence this won't heal, so keep soaking in His peaceful presence. In His presence confidence is built in you from Him, and in His presence strong holds are destroyed. You have to know who He is through times like this.
Do you believe what God says? Be honest. I probably still don't believe all things are possible, but I want to. I know what God's brought me through is possible, but at times it's hard to believe He wants good things for us, but He does, I can't trust my feelings all the time and the devil is a liar.
[..] when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.
The mountains quake at him, and the hills melt, and the earth is burned at his presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein.
Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the LORD delivers him out of them all .
Here's a profound statement: "The only things that have power in your life are the things you allow." Think about that, it goes both ways. You won't experience God unless you let Him into your life because God does not invade free will. And bad things like fear can not come in your life unless you allow it because that can't invade your free-will. Some things naturally scare us but we don't have to let it control us. If you've allowed fear to dominate you it is because you give it that power. Over time allowing the fear to set in makes it hard to see how you are allowing it, but you did at some point and let it get so big that it seems undefeatable.
You have to realize that panic attacks are a choice, a difficult one since the evidence is convicting, but when you really understand you don't have to fear it gives you some freedom. It is completely up to you whether to let it destroy you where you are or if you decide to let the feelings pass. When you aren't afraid of the feelings of a panic attack you won't have them. There is nothing to be afraid of. Everytime Jesus greated people and the apostles wrote letters they said, "Peace", or "Shalom" in Hebrew. Jesus is the Prince of Peace and He gives peace to your heart. Having peace is very important inside your inner-man.
If God isn't talking to you and you don't know what to do here is what you can do. He said, I prepare a table in the presence of your enemy. Speaking spiritually -- In the middle of a panic search deep for that table, and see Jesus setting the table while a storm rages around you. Stop looking at the storm, everyone can clearly see that! If you put your focus on Jesus and go sit at the table you will be encouraged. And it doesn't matter how loud the thunder claps because you are hearing the gentle encouragement of the Master.
I often used to repeat things to myself and it didn't totally kill the panic but it made the panic fade. Just tell myself I am loved, I am doing well, and so on. When you really believe you are going to be fine and that you have been fine it can completely eliminate a panic. Instead of letting your mind race in a circle of endless questions you need to drop a big bold statement in it's way -- "I am a child of God! And nothing will change that!" Let your mind stop the rabbit race!
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.