September 2, 2014

Will these panic attacks ever go away?

Will these panic attacks ever go away?I’ve asked this question hundreds of times, maybe thousands of times. I’ve even waffled in my answer over the years. Am I destined to live with panic attacks the rest of my life, or can I be free?

When I was younger and the panic attacks were frequent, I was desperate for hope. I was searching for something to alleviate that onslaught of fear and confusion. Alcohol provided temporary relief, but it always left me more anxious and panicky the next day when it wore off. Medication was helpful, but like alcohol, the panic and fear would return after the medication was out of my system.

I spent lots of time sitting in front of counselors, psychiatrists, doctors, psychologists–anyone who could help me get out of this terrifying condition. But for years, there was no relief. It was then that I landed at the conclusion that maybe, like diabetes or high cholesterol, I would have this “disease” the rest of my life. I had lost hope.

Then, something happened that changed everything. I met a gentleman who had lived a life of fear and panic attacks, but now he was free. Could it be? Can you get free from fear and panic attacks?

This new information set me on a course to learn as much as I could about freedom from fear, anxiety and panic attacks. And, here’s what I learned:

Freedom is possible

Too often, we convince ourselves that freedom is impossible or elusive. Or maybe we believe it’s possible for others, but not for me. We often let our experience and feelings determine what’s true for us. We may even start to think freedom is possible, and then hope builds, but WHAM! an attack hits and we lose hope again.

The key for freedom is what you choose to believe. You have to believe that freedom is possible. Freedom will never come if you cannot change the way you think. If you don’t know where to start, then start with a prayer asking God to transform your thinking.

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think (Romans 12:2).

I believe that everyone can experience freedom from anxiety, fear and panic attacks. It is not something you have to live with the rest of your life. You can be free!

Freedom is a process

Most people want instant freedom, but this often leads to discouragement. We want to pray a power prayer to receive a heavenly zap that’ll take it away. But, I don’t know that prayer. It has been my experience that freedom is a process. For some, it’s a quick process and for others, it’s a bit longer.

The key is to get started. Once you can believe that freedom is possible, then you can start taking steps to get free.

Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin (Zechariah 4:10).

A couple of years ago, I blogged a series of articles on Freedom and summarized them all in this blog post. It’s a great starting point for those of you seeking freedom.

Freedom is for everyone

Sometimes, we convince ourselves that freedom is for others, but not me. Again, we often let experience and feelings dictate this “lie” in our lives. We want freedom, but we don’t experience it, so we wrongly conclude that we’ll always have this “condition.” That’s just not true.

It is absolutely essential for you to understand that freedom is available to you. Jesus paid an incredible price so that you can boldly approach God in your time of need.

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16).

In Christ, you have everything you need to receive freedom (Ephesians 1). Let this message plant a seed of hope in your heart. Today, I am walking in incredible freedom from fear and panic attacks. And so can you!

Prayer: I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13).

About Russ Pond

For most of my life, I battled crippling anxiety and panic attacks. For the longest time, I had no hope. My world was closing in all around me. Today, I am free and living a life full of peace and abundance. Freedom is real. You can be totally set free for the bondage of fear.

  • Neil Monaghan

    It feels like I was born anxious..I cant remember ever not feeling anxious or afraid. Panic attacks have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember but especially since my mid teens when I suffered my first remembered serious panic attack when I began to sweat, shake, feel disoriented and even nauseous. I can’t even remember of there was a trigger, though it may have been associated with a particular thought. Next followed visits to psychiatrists, pills and therapy, all to no avail. I even managed to freeze during my wedding speech as I was so full of fear. I received Jesus as my saviour in 1986 and for quite some time felt the peace that passes understanding and even managed to do things which previously I felt were impossible for me. But then as time passed and I began to be filled with irrational thoughts that I had lost my salvation which fired off the vicious cycle of fear, anxiety and panic attacks.  By this time I was pastoring a church and eventually found it too difficult to carry on. I have frozen up on numerous occasions whilst ministering..it is embarrassing and crippling to live this way. I am now 63 and i think with age I have become less anxious, and more so as I have embraced God’s grace in increasing measure. I do however still have a battle on my hands on a daily basis as I often have feelings of impending doom or just lower levels of general anxiety. I love God deeply and absolutely believe that all this stuff was dealt with at the cross and is part of His finished work. Even so I still experience anxiety, confused thinking and the occasional panic attack. I do believe that one day I will be completely free simply because Jesus said so! In His Grace..Neil Monaghan

    • http://russpond.com Russ Pond

      Neil, thanks for sharing. I’m so sorry to hear about your experience with anxiety and panic attacks. I still believe 100% that you can be free from this crippling condition. I believe it with all my heart. I have experienced freedom and I know you can too. My experience has been that this kind of fear is often rooted in a lie from the enemy that takes hold in our “patterns of thinking” and becomes a stronghold in our lives. But, through revelation by the Holy Spirit and the power of Christ, you can tear down those strongholds. I know you can!

      This blog post documented my journey to freedom and all the steps I took:

      season.org/freedom-from-fear-summary/

      Neil, I really do believe you can experience complete and total freedom.

  • http://www.facebook.com/maggie.jones.3517 Maggie Jones

    Hey guys thought id comment as past month ive had panic and anxiety attacks im 25 sufferd from anziety in past but never ever this bad when i break feels like can breath in for ever my paml of my hand twitches when i swallow back of my throught seems massive i feel so light headed a panicky sicky feeling comes over me i try to tell me self ids just an attack its all in your head but the mind is so powefull i think will i ever be able to over come i wanna live my life i dont wanna feel like this feels like my lifes just been taken away from me i have no recolision of what kicked it off but w.e it is its not going away tryed the brown paper bag carnt try theropy as dont know what the course of it is hope im not alone in all of this as i know its easyer if other people are going though it so i dont feel like only 1 in world i prey fro the day when i can be my self again

    • http://russpond.com Russ Pond

      Sorry to hear about your experience. I know that panicky feeling. I want to encourage you that you can overcome this and be yourself again. So much of what you’re experiencing is a physical response called “fight or flight”, and you need to get to the source of what’s triggering it. I would encourage you to read some of the articles on this website (like these http://season.org/freedom-from-fear-summary) and it’ll help you get to the root of what’s causing it. Most of all, ask God to show you and he is always faithful to help.