How to Overcome My Panic Attacks?

09 January, 2017
Q I’ve always considered myself to be an anxious person. However, this week, I’ve been having a number of panic attacks. Before this, I was only anxious but able to go through presenting, but now, I find myself nauseous, worrying way too much, and I even forget my lines. Aside from this, I have also had a history of dark periods. An example is my last dark period, which lasted for about a month, in which I became suicidal again. When I spoke to my mother about this, she repeatedly denied me having mental issues, but she did say she will get me a therapist (she never did, it’s just something she says.) I am currently in a better place, but I find myself very anxious, and I cannot stay still. My mind keeps going a hundred miles a minute. I now lust after many things. Is this something that should be addressed? And if so, what should I do?

Answer

Answer:

As-Salamu ‘Alaikum,

Thank you for reaching out to us. I am sorry to hear of your panic attacks. I personally feel that you should go and see a primary care physician and get your physical examination done. You should clearly highlight each and every worry you have to your general physician. Anxiety is not a condition to be taken lightly. The general physician will definitely refer you to a psychologist which will help you manage your symptoms a lot better. Be honest with your symptoms and make sure to ask for a blood panel.

In the meantime, there are quite a few remedies from the Quran and Sunnah as well as some psychological interventions that you can practice individually which can be used for your benefit.

Meditate often

Calmness is achieved from the inside. When you experience yourself nearing an anxiety attack, start to deep breathe. Deep breathing is one of the best ways in which one can relax. It is a form of focusing your attention on the breathing rather than other internal fears which are slowly developing.

Do dhikr often

Allah (swt) says in the Quran,

“Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.” (13:28)

Anxiety, sadness and despair tend to deviate us from believing in the power of Allah (swt). So, remember Allah (swt) often. Your degree of happiness depends on your level of connection with Allah (swt). Therefore, call unto Him and tell Him of your worries, and seek guidance from Him.

Allah (swt) says in the Quran,

“O you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with the patient.” (2:153)

To achieve emotional calm and patience, pray often to Allah (swt). Call on him often. Use his names to glorify Him. There is a solution for every problem in the world in the Quran, be it physical, emotional or psychological. Allah (swt) says in the Quran,

“Indeed, Allah is Hearing and Seeing.” (58:1)

The power of istighfar

Read Istaghfar daily. Allah (swt) says in the Quran:

”Ask forgiveness of your Lord and then repent to Him. He will send [rain from] the sky upon you in showers and increase you in strength [added] to your strength.” (11:52)

”Ask forgiveness of your Lord. Indeed, He is ever a Perpetual Forgiver.” (71:10)

Asking for forgiveness does not necessitate that you have committed. In fact, even the blessed Prophet Muhammed (saw) used to make Istighfar 75x-100x every day!

Eat healthy

As insignificant it may sound to someone experiencing panic and anxiety, eating healthy and removing all sorts of fat and added sugar to your diet can have an unbelievable positive effect on your overall health, whether be it physical, emotional or spiritual.

Not only does healthy eating improve physical health, it also releases certain neurotransmitters which are good for your overall health and emotions likewise.

For example, according to research, a high intake of sugar acts as an adrenal stimulant and can cause anxiety or even panic attacks. Other offensive foods include those containing refined flour products, and even wheat since this causes inflammation.

Diet affects anxiety. A morning glass of green juice (vegetables such as kale, lettuce, cucumber, etc.) can get you on the right side of calm.

Exercise!

Exercising is the best way to feeling happier and more relaxed. It releases various chemicals in the brain which leaves you feeling stress free and better about yourself. Exercising regularly also boosts your confidence levels, improves self-esteem, and clears your mind of unwanted, depressing thoughts. It builds motivation and positive mental attitude. In addition, it also improves your physical health, which is very important. Exercising can be done at the gym, aerobics and even yoga.

Understand your fears and confront them

What causes you to feel anxious? Why were you feeling suicidal? Why do you fear meeting new people?

  1. Enlist the times at which you feel anxious and scared.
  2. Evaluate the reasons and factors which trigger anxiety in you.
  3. Understand that your fears and thoughts are not facts.
  4. Confront them and tell yourself that fears are stemming from your own thoughts.
  5. Change your thoughts! (Read, talk to family members or religious leaders, discuss with friends)

Stay positive

Part of your anxiety comes from your inability to see positivity in the situations you confront on a regular basis in your life. One of the best ways to be positive is to see and count the blessings that Allah (swt) has blessed you with.

The Prophet (saw) said: “Happiness is due to him who is guided to Islam and possesses provision that suffices him for his day and remains content.” (At- Tirmidhi)

Therefore, be happy at all times!

Salam,

***

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information that was provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, it’s volunteers, writers, scholars, counselors, or employees be held liable for any direct, indirect, exemplary, punitive, consequential or other damages whatsoever that may arise through your decision or action in the use of the services which our website provides.