No more panic attacks

Originally appeared online in the teen series Q&A -  May 17, 2022.

AARON CRANFORD — STAFF

Q: I’m scared of having another panic attack. Help.

A: I understand where you’re coming from. But having one panic attack doesn’t mean you have to have another. Ever. I know because of a healing I had.

I was at home by myself when I became overwhelmed by a feeling of mental numbness and almost dread. I felt disoriented, like I was in a fog. But I managed to find my way to the couch, where I lay down, feeling an enormous mental weight that I didn’t think I could bear.

I realized I needed immediate help. I had never felt this way before, and though I’ve had other healings through prayer, I didn’t feel as though I had any frame of reference for finding relief in this situation. I was grateful that the name of a Christian Science practitioner came to thought and that I was able to send him a brief email asking for help and telling him I thought I might be having a panic attack.

I thought I might be having a panic attack.

Soon I felt my phone vibrate with an alert about an incoming email. It was the practitioner, assuring me of his immediate availability to help and reminding me that I could meekly let God, divine Mind, show me the way forward. 

This is such a helpful starting point for dealing with mental health issues in general: knowing that God truly is the one and only Mind and that He is totally good. We can pray from the basis that we don’t have a mind or brain that can be panicked, anxious, or consumed with dark thoughts. Divine Mind is full of light, joy, and peace, and in reality, this is our only Mind. In addition, we can know that we are never on our own, struggling to find our way out of a scary problem. God’s thoughts are always there to comfort us and show us a way forward.

The practitioner also shared this passage from the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy: “Let Christian Science, instead of corporeal sense, support your understanding of being, and this understanding will supplant error with Truth, replace mortality with immortality, and silence discord with harmony” (p. 495). This passage helped me see that instead of scrambling to find the ideas I needed to be healed, I could accept how completely cared for I already was and how dependable God’s care is.

This idea of letting divine Mind inform me, support me, and heal me—instead of it all being on me—came as such a relief. I was still disoriented and overwhelmed, but I also felt so much peace knowing that it was not my personal responsibility to make the panic go away. Soon, the fear started lifting.

We are never on our own, struggling to find our way out of a scary problem. God’s thoughts are always there to comfort us and show us a way forward.

Within an hour, I was able to take my dog for a walk. I still felt a little shaky, but I kept turning my thought to God with genuine interest and meekly listening for what He had to say—for a better understanding of how much He loves me. I found myself less and less concerned about what had been happening, and feeling more and more full of God’s love.

Within three hours, I felt exactly like myself again. And not only was I completely freed of this panic at that time but I have never experienced that sort of attack again. 

This healing proved to me that no matter what the pattern seems to be with panic attacks, anyone can be free from this issue—and quickly—because the law of Love, God, that freed me is universal. It’s a law for everyone, and it’s consistent.

As you pray, the ideas that help you may be different from the ones that helped me. But you can know that this law is always operating on your behalf. And you can discover, as I did, that you can lean completely on God as you go forward—and find healing.

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