There have been some posts on here about panic and anxiety attacks after or during the passing of a loved one. What I am about to suggest is difficult, and some may feel incapable of doing it. But it is a time proven help in panic attacks. Panic is a part of anxiety and anxiety is always based on fear.
The posts I read all make the same mistake. They try to escape from panic by dashing here and there to avoid the oncoming attack. But wherever you go you are with you. It’s not the surroundings that cause the problem, it’s your attitude to events. Triggers!
You have a panic in the supermarket! (Don’t try and figure out why!). You withdraw in fear. ‘OMG’. ‘What if??’. What if I make a fool of myself? ‘Everyone is looking at me’. (They are not but we think they are).
When you feel a panic attack coming LET IT COME. I know, I know, sounds crazy. Panic is prolonged by fear. There is always a limit to panic because adrenaline,(the fear hormone), has a limited life. It always passes if we don’t add panic to panic.
When we feel panic, STOP, stand your ground, take deep breaths and let is pass. It always will if you don’t add ‘second fear.’ That’s the ‘Oh my goodness’ and ‘What if?’ Clutching with white knuckles at the food trolley. I know, been there!!
Now this is not easy in certain circumstances, but you can do it in your mind. When you get outside the supermarket and calm down what happens? You feel better. You can cope again. Why? The danger is past. The supermarket spells danger, because it’s happened there so often. Memory may trigger it. Danger produces fear and panic. Your ‘fight/flight’ mechanism clicks in. This is handed down to us from our ancestors who had cause to fear. Wild animals and unknown fears were all part of their life. The fear and flight or fight were the only way possible to survive.
We have no wild animals, but the effect of fear is the same. Fear of the future. How will I cope? This brings us to an important point. PANIC ATTACKS AND ANXIETY ARE NORMAL IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES. It’s the lack of understanding of the truth of that that causes the problem. It’s not something that you need fight or struggle with. You are NOT going crazy. No way! You are NOT abnormal. If you can understand the normality of anxiety in the circumstances, then you may lose your fear of it, and find that the attacks occur less frequently and may stop altogether. What have you to lose.
Blessings. John.


@jonathan123 thank you for this. I believe I read before somewhere that you are actually a retired counsellor? This shines through in your posts. I was in my PGDiploma of Counselling at Uni but have since packed it in because I’m struggling so much and cannot focus. Others problems don’t even seem a third of what mine are either.
Your words on anxiety and panic are as if I wrote it. It’s easier said than done, basically. It takes time and strength to get to the point of being able to control your mind when you’re not in control of your life, so to speak. The other day, I forced myself to the shop across the road that I used to always be in. They’re a finer shop where the employees go that extra mile and get to know you, they also have a butchers in there where I’d always buy my Dad’s groceries: polony, Stornaway black pudding, duck eggs, fine Glasgow rolls and some pork and apple sausages for good measure. My Dad was a creature of habit and I can still recite his usual shopping list. There’s a young lad I got chatting to over the year of going there and he used to always be like, ‘oh you doing the daughter duties again today?’. ‘Getting the fine things for your Dad?’ I have avoided this because I KNOW it will be brought up. I went in, grabbed a few things and waited to be served. A new lady, thankfully, ended up serving me to which I provided some small chat about the weather. All big steps for me. THEN! The young lad moses over and is like ‘no polony today then?’. My heart crumbles. I fake a smile, grab my things and run out the store. I understand that I felt immediately better upon leaving. But my anxiety was reality. It was a fear I knew would happen, there’s no avoiding.

I think it’s important to say that whilst I agree with everything, I also think time is significant. I really think if I had went to the shop in the early days, I’d have full on made a scene out of anger and upset. ‘How dare you’ sort of attitude. With time and space, I know now it’s not others faults. It’s nobody’s. I can accept that. What I can’t accept is having to say the words ‘my dad isn’t here’.

Step by step. Day by day.

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