If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, PLEASE call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Many of us in recovery are familiar with journaling, but we may be less familiar with panic journaling. What is it, and how can it help us? Panic journaling is the practice of journaling during a panic attack, to help us cope with the painful symptoms of panic, anxiety and suicidal thoughts. When we’re in the middle of a panic attack, it can feel totally overwhelming and terrifying. Journaling through it can help us mitigate the very severe symptoms and calm ourselves down.
Panic journaling is intended to help us release everything that has been bottled up and suppressed inside of us. When we’re panicking, we usually have unresolved issues and unhealed emotions we haven’t fully processed yet. When we journal through a panic attack, it allows us to get everything out. We don’t need to worry about making our thoughts clear or concise. Our writing doesn’t have to be solid or perfect. We don’t need to be concerned with grammar or punctuation. We simply want to write everything we’re thinking and feeling. This process is highly cathartic. Writing itself is calming and therapeutic, and when we apply it to our panic, we can find ourselves being calmed down almost immediately. We can feel our sadness, fear, shame and regret fading.
After the panic has subsided, we can take a look at our journal and examine our words, to try to make sense of them and find meaning in them. Our writing can function like clues, providing us with insight into our suffering. From our words, we can glean powerful lessons about what exactly is bothering us, what fears we still have to address, what unhealed emotions are still causing us so much distress. We can increase our awareness about what traumatic experiences are still haunting us, and how we’re still being affected by the difficult things we’ve been through.
We might want to look at our panic journals with a therapist, who can help us process our intense thoughts and feelings. It’s a great idea to enlist support through the process of working through our panic attacks, especially when we’re experiencing them on a regular basis. When we’re suffering from depression and suicidal thoughts, our panic attacks can serve as a warning sign that we need professional help. We should heed these warnings, and our panic journals can help us to navigate them.
Riverside Recovery is a drug and alcohol treatment center offering a full continuum of care for people suffering from addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders. We understand the emotional challenges of addiction recovery and are here to support you. Call us today for more information: (800) 871-5440.