DIALOGUE number 2 – Anxiety about Recovery

In this dialogue Julie has been previously feeling less panic but is feeling anxious about that and is in two minds about whether she would feel less anxious if she didn’t think about being free of panic. It’s a strange logic that will make sense to all people who go through Panic Disorder

J –  hi

this is almost fourth time this is happening.. that whenever i feel that i am now far away from any panic or tension.. next day i suddenly get panic attack when i am not even thinking about it.. .. earlier i used to be on constant alert .. avoiding doing things that would trigger panic.. so i would be able to save myself from feeling panic.. now when i feel i am almost cured of it.. i feel panic … so i felt perhaps its better to constantly feel alert, anxious.. .. not consciously .. but i felt .. perhaps its better to not think about getting cured of panic

i know have to let panic be.. it will come down whenever it will… these days.. when i panic… the acute feeling of fear just lasts for few minutes as if my BP is risen…. then it comes down immediately ….. earlier i used to feel that acute fear almost for half hour….. then i kept feeling uneasy for long time….

R –  ok –

this is exactly what happened to me too

J –  really?

Robin: it brings it all back to me – its amazing how the brain thinks

at the bottom of it is us trying to figure out some way NOT to panic at ALL

J –  i feel sort of trapped… cant feel panic as i used to .. and don’t feel ok too… ..


R –  so – u are thinking that maybe if you don’t THINK about getting cured of panic

you won’t panic

J –  yes

R –  can u see it is still an attempt to STOP it

which is subtle anxiety

its tricky

u have to allow all this

but bottom line is – its OK to panic

J –  i felt i should stop talking about panic with you every day… i did not get so many panic attacks earlier.. i was used to avoiding everything that created panic.

R –  nothing is wrong

J –  yes

R –  but u still feared panic VERY much

i actually WANT you to panic EVERY day for exposure practice

J –  but i can see that it has made so much difference talking and practising every day

R –  its the quickest way

yes – it’s unpleasant – but the rewards are immense

J –  but i can see the improvement

R –  u need to ask “are u prepared to feel some anxiety every day”

J –  i know that i have started facing so many things i avoided.

R –  its what is needed

you are almost through trust me

J –  i can be more relaxed in people’s company .. not fearing .. what they will say next .. in case it will trigger panic

R –  u probably created another form of the cycle of fear

J –  ok

R –  today you are afraid that you have been panicking every day

J –  yes

R –  so u fear that this will happen for ever

another cycle

J –  i thought is it creating stress for me.. and will that affect my diabetes and BP

R –  yes – u will have that extra worry

but it wont – remember the doctor said that your blood sugar levels take a long time to react and that if your BP is raised for a short time because of anxiety that is normal

u are doing really well

u aren’t really panicking as before

u just feel constant uneasiness which i remember well

J –  i thought that if panic really is harmless.. then i need not try to overcome it…

i can just know this and forget about it… so not ASK for it..

I thought if I practice too much with exposure to panic and the anxiety level is constantly high..then wont it affect.. or wont it trigger the habit of anxiety?

R –  remember that without exposure you have STILL had panic disorder for some years now – avoidance has helped you avoid some of the anxiety but it was always there in the background – the impact on your life was huge. Exposure may seem to increase the anxiety but eventually it will lead to NO anxiety

J –  but its good that i am asking

R –  yes


i forgot this one

J –  no .. but last five years i have been successful in avoiding it most of the time

R –  yes if u stay in house for ever it seems like a success lol

“I cant go out but at least I don’t panic”


J –   lol yes .. that was so sad


R –  stick with it – it will get easier

J –  yes

R –  u are right on target – this will run for few more days

J –  this is a difficult stage.. because my mind is rebelling..

R –  then u will get used to it

J –  ok

R –  this is causing SO much practice

which is GREAT

u are having to repeat the skills

u are having to accept – face etc

its the only way

its about TIME

J –  and i am facing EVERYTHING.. i cannot escape now.. anywhere .. because the mind is making me face too… its war going on in my mind…. two sides… one which wants me to overcome panic.. and one who says…. just keep your self safe..

R –  yes

but don’t worry – u know too much now

u will move onwards

J –  and the last argument is… but you are not me…. you wont know…. and i might be weaker than anyone who would overcome panic..

R –  lol



J –  🙂

R –  u have said them ALL now

J –  lol

R –  u should get a prize or something

J –  lol

R –  try this – draw a graph in your head of progress

from years ago to now

even if you still ‘feel’ bad

there is CHANGE

you are NOT cowering in the corner

J –  and people around me are still where they were with my panic… they make me go back.. giving similar reactions…

R –  u are NOT terrified

J –  no

R –  u know what panic REALLY is now

u have proved it several times

but remember i told u exactly that it wouldn’t just vanish

without being faced

so this is expected

J –  yes

R –  normal

J –  yes

R –  so no big surprise

in fact i am so glad you are having to face it

J –  🙂

R –  as long as u avoid u fear it

like the movie analogy

if you avoided the scary movie

u would always FEAR it

J –  yes

R –  but u KNOW if u HAD to watch it 100 times

u WOULD get fed up

it COULDN’T scare u as much

no way

J –  yes

R –  its human nature

J –  yes

R –  i know u have faced panic many times over the years

but it was like a new experience each time

J –  yes

R –  because u didn’t know what it was then

J –  exactly

R –  now it is different

J –  yes

R –  u know what it is

and when u repeat it

u see it is the same old thing each time

so u WILL get used to it

J –  yes

R –  even if it is slow

J –  yes

R –  i know u don’t REALLY feel too bad right now

i know its just very unpleasant

and irritating

an underlying uneasiness

that u wish would hurry up and go away


J –  another thing… when i have cough or cold, or acidity .. when i am physically low.. i get panic attack easily .. so fear more..

R –  of course – because u fear that

J –  especially in PMS.

R –  and that’s GREAT

J –  ok

R –  i want you to panic as OFTEN as u can

J –  ok

R –  how else do you practice

J –  🙂

R –  bring it on

J –  ok

i was thinking today that i will get used to stress and that will lead to heart attack..


hey – i wrote that word!.

R –  lol

heart attack

heart attack

heart attack

heart attack

J –  today mother was reading an autobiography .. in the morning.. and read a description of a heart attack and SHE got into panic.

R –  lol

you couldn’t have one if u tried

J –  then she came to meet me.. but when she saw i got into panic.. she felt uneasy and wanted to come back immediately to her house.. just could not stay there for a minute

R –  the big joke is that people with panic disorder live longer than most people

J –  lol

R –  because they are so health conscious



and they avoid all trouble

J –  lol

R –  so they live till they are 99

and even THEN they think they’re just about to die


J –  lol

R –  keep noticing you ARE trying to ‘make it go away’

THAT is the stirring

if it stays for days so what

its just fight of flight sensations

just feels scary nothing else

J –  yes.

<< Previous   /   Next >>