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04 December 2016

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Rebekka

I have previously suffered from panic attacks and still tend to have anxiety, especially if I'm low on sleep and/or really busy. I have to say that I haven't really thought of it from an offer-it-up perspective. However, I've been living with it long enough that I can recognize a panic attack for what it is, and sort of sit it out, even though it is unpleasant I can sort of rise above the impending death feeling of it.

I think self awareness of what's going on is part of it. Being able to say "this is anxiety". It doesn't make the sensation of it go away, but it directs my response to it. (Is it a panic attack or a heart attack? If it's a panic attack, I will just wait it out. I haven't tried having a heart attack...)

I don't think it is wrong to ease pain. It's not immoral to take Tylenol, or to have a nap if you have a headache, or accept palliative care if you are dying. Likewise I think it is ok to minimize situations that provoke mental anguish, or to accept comfort from others (letting them tend to the ill is good for their souls). I guess it comes down to finding a balance between the person who refuses all helpful action and becomes completely debilitated, and the person who searches in vain to have every last discomfort eased, instead of accepting the suffering that can't be helped, both ruin their lives.

Kate Cousino

Yes, what Rebekka has said. I have an anxiety disorder, and I find it helps a LOT to be able to recognize what it is and name it in the moment; choose not to act on the feelings and wait it out.

Of course, anxiety disorders really aren't primarily mental. It's a kind of whole-body response, like your body is stuck on the "high alert" setting, and sometimes the triggers are serious things and sometimes the triggers are silly and sometimes there's no identifiable trigger at all. If you don't recognize and name it for what it is, your brain does its human brain thing and comes up with reasons why you SHOULD be panicking, and that's where the irrational thinking comes in. Recognizing the response for what it is makes it possible to reject the irrational thoughts. At least for me, this is how it works. While I rarely think to offer up a panic attack in union with Christ's suffering, I do often offer up slightly less-intense periods of heightened anxiety while waiting for my anxiety meds and self-care to kick in and the ebb and flow of the anxiety to lessen.


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I think I read something somewhere about this

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