“God is our refuge and strength,
always ready to help in times of trouble.
2 So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea.”
Psalm 46:1-2, NLT
[David says,] “Fear and trembling overwhelm me, and I can’t stop shaking…But I will call on God, and the Lord will rescue me.”
Psalm 55:5, 16
Apparently, David understood what we now call a “panic attack.” He sure wasn’t the first, and he won’t be the last. David understands the shaking and fear that wanted to eat him up. He seems to go from “crisis-to-crisis” and very possibly this could of contributed to a deep anxiety.
My own experience with a panic attack is similar to what he must’ve felt. I start to shake and feel a pressing anxiety. The trembling gets very intense, I feel like death is imminent and my heart races. A feeling of doom often accompanies this. When I first started having them they were completely overwhelming; I had no idea what they were. They were quite scary. They seemed to happen once every week, sometimes more, sometimes less.
Mayo Clinic has put out the following list of symptoms:
- Sense of impending doom or danger
- Fear of loss of control or death
- Rapid, pounding heart rate
- Trembling or shaking
- Shortness of breath or tightness in your throat
- Hot flashes
- Abdominal cramping
- Chest pain
- Dizziness, lightheadedness or faintness
- Numbness or tingling sensation
- Feeling of unreality or detachment
Mine typically last for 20-30 minutes. When I finally asked my doctor, she knew exactly what they were. There is no drug; the attack can only be treated by an awareness of what is happening. There is no cure for them and really no way to eliminate them completely. I was stuck with them. She told me to use a paper bag to ease the symptoms.
As a believer the panic attack had to be understood as coming under the lordship of Jesus Christ. When an attack occurs it is time for me to “hunker down”and prepare for the coming storm. Since I know he is in charge, I become less anxious. (And that is a good thing.)
Educating myself has helped a lot. Just to know many others experience them is a real encouragement. The panic attack is quite common and much is known about it, the attack can be understood and even managed by understanding its true nature.
I know that all that touches me is the Lord’s concern; of that I have no doubt.