Panic Attacks

The Ultimate Dilemma is being afraid you are going to die but being afraid that you won’t die!  What could possibly create such a horrible condition?  The answer is “Panic Disorder.”  Probably the vast majority of people, including those who have it, have not heard of Panic Disorder!  The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders—IV lists 13 symptoms of this emotional affliction in the classification of “Anxiety Disorders.”

  1. Palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate
  2. Sweating
  3. Trembling or shaking
  4. Sensations of shortness of breath or smothering
  5. Feeling of choking
  6. Chest pain or discomfort
  7. Nausea or abdominal distress
  8. Feeling dizzy, unsteady, lightheaded, or faint
  9. Derealization (feelings of unreality) or depersonalization
  10. Fear of losing control or going crazy
  11. Fear of dying
  12. Paresthesias (numbness or tingling sensations)
  13. Chills or hot flushes 

The basic problem which causes Panic Disorder is the feeling of being trapped.  While there may be a lot of situations which lead up to it, the feeling of being trapped is the trigger for Panic Disorder.  Feeling trapped does not just mean that people believe that they are in a bad situation but still have some hope that there is an out.  The “trapped” feeling means having no hope that there is even one option of a way out of a terrible existence.  The future looks no better and probably even worse than the presentVictims of panic disorder, thus, feel powerless, helpless and hopeless!

Having worked as a therapist in substance abuse recovery, I am aware that up to 80 percent of alcoholics and other drug addicts have Panic Disorder which is commonly reported.   I have done both outpatient and residential substance abuse therapy and have found that there is a high incidence of Panic Disorder in this population.  There is also a high incidence of spiritual abuse.  The two are often interrelated.  What could possibly create a greater sense of being trapped—feeling powerless, helpless, hopeless, and in utter despair than the fear of eternal damnation in literal hell fire?  The future in hell would, consequently, be far—infinitely—worse than the present!

The bad news is that panic disorder is one of the worst and, in some instances, one of the most debilitating conditions known to man.  The good news is that it is one of the most easily treatable conditions if victims of panic attacks get competent medical,  psychological, and spiritual treatment.  This certainly includes those whose panic attacks are due to feeling trapped by spiritual abuse/terrorism.  Understanding universal salvation works almost as well as a “magic pill” in freeing victims of spiritual terrrism from fear of eternal damnation in eternal literal hell fire!  (In Chapter 6, “The Ultimate Dilemma”)


Panic Disorder is my shepherd; I shall want but have no hope.
Thou maketh me to fall down in pastures of nervous exhaustion.
Thou leadeth me beside the troubled waters of addiction and misery.
Thou destroyeth my soul with panic attacks through feeling trapped.
Thou leadeth me in the paths of helplessness and hopelessness for no purpose’s sake.
Yea, I walk through the valley of the shadow of death fearing all evil:
For thou art with me; thy rod of racing heart and staff of smothering  sensations discomfort me.
Thou preparest a trap for me in the presence of my emotional enemies—feelings of:  choking, shaking, sweating, chills, faintness, numbness,    nausea, detachment from my body, and a sense of unreality.
Thou anointest my head with despair; my cup of anxiety runneth over.
Surely fear of going crazy and dying shall stalk me all days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the damned forever.


 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; He leadeth me beside  the still waters.
 He restoreth my soul; He leadeth me in the paths of righteous for  His name’s sake.
 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will
 fear no evil:  for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies: 
 Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;
 And I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever (Psalm 23).  Amen.