How to Deal with a Diagnosis Panic Disorder

3 Tips To Accepting That You Have Panic Disorder

When initially diagnosed with a mental health condition, many panic disorder sufferers experience a wide range of emotion.  You may be a bit relieved or even glad to know that you have a diagnosable, and most importantly, a treatable condition. It is not uncommon to also feel a sense of stress, anger, embarrassment, or other emotions when diagnosed with panic disorder.

It can be difficult to accept that you have panic disorder, but you can come to terms with your condition.

Read ahead for three ways to help you accept that you have panic disorder.

Don’t Let Panic Disorder Define You

Having panic disorder is a whole lot different than being panic disorder. Your condition makes up only a small part of who you are as a person. This can be challenging to notice when panic attacks and anxiety first begin to take over, but as you seek treatment and learn to manage your condition, it will no longer take center stage in your life.

Try not to focus too much on the label of a mental health disorder. Instead, consider all the roles you already achieved in your life, such as a good friend, a hard-working employee, or a caring parent. Also think about your achievements and goals. What have you done over the last year that you are proud of? Do you still have certain goals that you would like to work? Put some of your attention towards your dreams instead of letting your diagnosis define you.

So when finding out that you have panic disorder, stay true to who you are, remember your other roles in life, and continue to develop your personal goals and interests.

Remember That You Are Not To Blame

Many people want to know what caused their mental illness, which can occasionally lead to thoughts of blame.

Perhaps you blame yourself, thinking that your life choices have lead you towards an anxiety disorder. You may also be apt to blaming others for your condition, believing that different ways you were treated by others caused your condition. While relationships, experiences, and personal choices may contribute to your condition, panic disorder is not due to a bad childhood, your ability to cope with stress, or an unsupportive partner. Rather, your condition is mostly likely caused by a combination of factors.

Experts largely believe that panic disorder is the result of environmental, biological, and genetic influences. There are also certain risk factors that may have increased your probability of developing panic disorder. Although it can be tempting to play the blame game, try to put your energy elsewhere, such as focusing on how to manage your symptoms on the present.  

Help Break Down the Stigma

Unfortunately, there is still a stigma to having a mental health disorder. Unacceptance by others can cause a person with panic disorder to feel a great deal of shame and humiliation.

On the other hand, one may also have a sense of anger over others’ inability to be understanding and compassionate about mental illness.

In order to overcome the stigma of panic disorder, it may be helpful to advocate for mental health awareness. To do so, you will first need to learn as much as you can about your condition. Once you have more knowledge about panic disorder, you can begin explaining your condition to others.

Let people know that having an anxiety disorder doesn’t mean that you are “crazy” or “neurotic.” You may want to get involved in local support and advocacy groups, such as the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). These organizations can provide you with additional resources, help get you started in advocacy efforts, and get you in contact with others who are experiencing similar issues.

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