DIALOGUE number 10 – Trying desperately to be ‘calm’ means the fear of panic is still there

In this dialogue Julie hasn’t had a panic attack for several days but – as she says herself – she has “been desperately for last four days… ‘trying’ to be calm and stable“ Clearly there is still a lot of fear about panic which can only be cleared through repeated exposure practice.

R – hi


R – feeling any better

Jmay be

R – still feel panic

Jyes. a little

R – have u tried to practice with it


just doing that

R – did u read the panic booklet

Jno.. but practiced sincerely

i am caught between … my old ways of making me feel good .. and practice..

because i want to work etc. i am tempted to use my old ways and correct things…

and because of this new way of looking at life …… i cannot use ANY of my earlier logics and so i feel terrified.

i am so confused

i don’t know what to do .. what to think

R – maybe you are thinking that this panic u feel is different than the panic u felt in the big store

it’s NOT

all panic is same

but we interpret it differently

Jok.. so this too will not harm me.

R – not in a million years

u need to understand that this requires REPEATED practice

this is THE top problem i encounter with all people

Ji am sorry. .. whenever i try to throw everything i am used to away… makes me so scared..

R – some how or other i knew years ago i needed to repeat this practice until it finally worked

but most people give up

or slow up

or ease off the practice

and then they feel it doesn’t work

like expecting to learn piano with 5 lessons

and play brilliantly

and when it doesn’t work they give up

you KNOW EXACTLY NOW what panic is

so WHY waste your time seeing it in your old way??

Ji don’t want to give up… but my mind is trying every trick to make me stick to the old pattern right now


R – it’s up to YOU to override YOUR mind

i think u have TWO things going on at minute

physical panic feelings

and mental worry and usual fear

you need to balance how u are using your mind right now

you are stressed with the script (work)

u need to GO OUT – walk


watch a comedy

then practice with the mental activity

Jyes.. i don’t want to give up..

the biggest trap that my mind can create for me.. is putting in front of me the self image i am scared of.. .. and push me into panic..

and i am most scared thinking that people will declare me mad and push me away…or out of their way… this is the greatest fear i have… (this is my scared mind seeing.. not me.) .. yes

R –  observe how the mind adds fear to the fear and gets caught in it’s own trap


R – for next few hours try to OBSERVE the mind catatsrophising

and the EXACT panic thoughts




R – but also do something LIGHT HEARTED

J yes. i need that.

R – watch TV – go out for walk

make a face in the mirror

tell Melanie to tickle u



just try to practice with whatever


Therapist: that’s all

J i will

R – if you TRY to be calm u get tense



R – just remind yourself of all the truth about anxiety

Ji will remember.. that’s what i have been desperately doing.. for last four days… ‘trying’ to be calm and stable 🙂


R – i know – everyone falls into that trap

Recovery is NOTHING to do with that

it’s getting to point where u tell panic to DO IT”S WORST

because you KNOW it’s JUST adrenaline


R – why would you need to calm yourself down if it’s just adrenaline


R – u are in no danger so why worry about being calm

it’s a trick

when we try desperately to be calm it shows we are fearful of the sensations

so observe that

and go – ah ha

it’s the subtle behaviours that keep it going


R – then u laugh

there is NOTHING at ALL out to harm u in ANY way – u are fine

J yes

R – for whatever reason you experience fight or flight sensations

then your memory remembers feeling bad in past

then you add worry about what might happen

then your body responds with more adrenaline


R – it’s all a MISTAKE


R – and NOTHING WHATSOEVER is ‘actually’ wrong

no one with panic has EVER died


or gone mad lol

Jlol ..

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