What is a Panic Attack?

Have you ever felt like your heart was racing, your palms were sweaty, and you couldn’t catch your breath? Maybe it happened when you had to speak in front of the class, take an important test, or even board an airplane. If so, you might have experienced a panic attack. A panic attack is when you suddenly feel intense fear or discomfort, and your body reacts as if it’s in danger, even if there’s no real threat.

In this article, we’ll explore what panic attacks are, why they happen, and how you can find peace through God’s Word. Along the way, we’ll use Bible verses and stories to help us understand what God says about fear and how we can trust Him, even when it feels like everything is out of control.

Panic Attacks Are Common

Did you know that panic attacks are pretty common? In the United States, 3 to 5% of people have them at some point in their lives. This means you’re not alone if you’ve experienced them. Panic attacks can happen to anyone, no matter their age, gender, or background. Even people in the Bible had moments of fear and anxiety.

For example, in the book of Judges, Gideon was called by God to lead the Israelites into battle. He was so scared that he asked God for signs to prove it was really Him who was calling him (Judges 6:36-40). Gideon’s fear didn’t make him weak; it made him human. But God still used him to do great things.

Causes of Panic Attacks

Panic attacks can be triggered by many things. Some people experience them because of medical issues like diabetes or thyroid problems. Others have panic attacks because they’re going through a tough time, like a family crisis or a big change at school. For some, it’s just the thought of something scary, like public speaking or flying.

In the book of 1 Samuel, King Saul had moments of intense fear and anxiety. He was afraid of losing his kingdom, and this fear led him to make bad decisions (1 Samuel 18:6-9). Panic attacks can make you feel like you’re losing control, but it’s important to remember that fear doesn’t have to control you.

Treating Panic Attacks

The good news is that panic attacks can be treated. If you struggle with panic attacks, there are medical treatments that can help, like medication and counseling. But there’s also something even more powerful: faith in God. When we focus on God’s promises and His love for us, it can help calm our fears.

Psalm 23:4 says, “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.” This verse reminds us that God is with us, even in our darkest moments. When you’re feeling scared, remember that God is walking beside you, and you can lean on Him.

Panic Attacks Are a Choice

After all medical causes are ruled out, panic attacks become a matter of choice. This doesn’t mean you can just choose not to have them, but it does mean you can choose how to respond when they happen. When you feel fear creeping in, you can choose to focus on God’s promises instead of the things that scare you.

In the book of Philippians, Paul writes, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6). This verse shows us that when we feel anxious or afraid, we can pray to God and ask for His help. We can choose to trust Him, knowing that He cares for us.

Choosing to Trust God

When you feel a panic attack coming on, take a moment to ask yourself if the fear is based on something true. If it’s not, remind yourself of what is true: God loves you, and He will never leave you. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him.” This means that even when things seem scary or uncertain, God has a plan, and it’s for your good.

Think about Daniel in the lion’s den (Daniel 6:16-22). He was thrown into a pit with lions, but he trusted God, and God protected him. You might not be facing actual lions, but your fears can feel just as big. When you choose to trust God, you can find peace, just like Daniel did.

Safety or Faith?

When people get panic attacks, they usually just want to feel safe. It’s hard to feel calm when your heart races and your palms sweat. For Christians, though, the most important goal should be different. The Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Corinth, saying that we should do everything to please God. Even if we’re eating, drinking, or doing anything else, our focus should be on honoring Him (1 Corinthians 10:31). I tell people who struggle with panic attacks that they need to make a choice.

Instead of focusing on just staying safe, choose to live in a way that glorifies God. I ask them to learn a simple phrase: “Glorifying God is greater than my next breath!” This might sound tough, but it’s a reminder that living for God’s glory is more important than avoiding fear.

Make the Right Choice

We all make choices every day. In Romans 6:16, Paul says that if we follow someone, we become their servant. This could be sin, which leads to bad stuff, or obedience, which leads to good things. As Christians, we get to choose if we let panic attacks control us. The big question is: do you trust God to help you through the scary moments?

When I say that, I don’t mean God will always keep you safe from everything. But I do mean that you can trust Him, even when you feel scared. He might not take away all the hard things, but He will help you through them.

Finding Peace in God’s Word

If you struggle with panic attacks, find comfort in God’s Word. The Bible is full of verses that remind us of God’s love and protection. Start by reading Psalm 46:1-2, which says, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear.” These words remind us that God is our safe place, and He is always there for us.

Another helpful verse is Isaiah 41:10, where God says, “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.” This is a powerful promise. It tells us that we don’t have to be afraid because God is with us, guiding us through whatever we’re going through.

Taking Action: Steps to Overcome Panic Attacks

If you’re dealing with panic attacks, here are some steps you can take to find peace and calm in the midst of the storm:

  1. Pray for Peace: When you feel fear, take a moment to pray. Ask God to give you peace and to calm your mind. Prayer can be a powerful tool in battling anxiety.
  2. Read the Bible: Find Bible verses that talk about God’s love and His protection. Write them down and keep them with you. Read them when you’re feeling anxious.
  3. Talk to Someone: If you’re struggling with panic attacks, talk to someone you trust, like a parent, a teacher, or a pastor. They can offer support and guidance.
  4. Seek Christian Counseling for Panic Attacks: If panic attacks are affecting your life, consider seeing a Christian counselor. They can help you understand your fears and find ways to cope with them through a biblical perspective.
  5. Practice Gratitude: When you’re feeling anxious, try to focus on the things you’re thankful for. This can help shift your mindset from fear to gratitude.

Remember, you’re not alone in this. God is with you, and He loves you. Even in the middle of a panic attack, you can choose to trust Him and find peace in His promises.

Finally Alive Counseling

Finally Alive Counseling Ministries is a Christian based counseling facility. We help those suffering stress, anxiety, anger, depression, and more.


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