How to overcome panic attacks

Fear and anxiety are normal.  Our brains are wired to keep us alive.  Unfortunately, sometimes our brains get things wrong and tries to protect us against situations that aren’t actually dangerous.  Our brains can erroneously tell us that our own anxiety is dangerous.

The good news is that learned fears can be unlearned.  Given enough time and effort, we can re-train our brain to recognize that our feelings of anxiety are harmless and don’t require a flight or fight response.  There are many scientifically-proven treatments for panic attacks such as exposure therapy (or CBT with exposure), relaxation, flooding, cognitive restructuring, and others.1 2 3

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Changing the abuser in your brain

If you are on the receiving end of toxicity and find it incredibly difficult to leave, that’s normal.  Abuse victims regularly stay in the hope that their abuser will change and finally validate them.  Or if they leave, they still feel compelled to go back or find closure.

But here’s another way of looking at the situation: there is an ‘abuser’ inside the victim’s brain that is holding them back.  That abusive part of the brain is telling them that it is a “good” idea to seek validation from their abuser.  The brain illogically tells the victim that they did something wrong to “cause” the abuse or that they were abused because they are worthless.  Even after the victim leaves or the abusive person dies, the abusive brain can still live on and disrupt the victim’s life.

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Credibility in court as an abuse victim

To be brutally honest, abuse victims are disadvantaged in legal proceedings because everyday people will have great difficulty understanding the victim’s counterintuitive behavior.  Many judges will wrongly assume that abuse victims will immediately flee when they are in danger.  Most people are deeply disturbed and confused when abuse victims go back to their abuser.  Fans of the pop star Rihanna were quite unhappy and perplexed when she went back to the man who brutally beat her.

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You are not causing your abuse. It is not your fault.

Most abuse victims erroneously believe that they are somehow responsible for their abuse.  This is because our brains constantly draw connections between our actions and the consequences of those actions, sometimes coming to conclusions where none should be made.  When we procrastinate, it’s because our unconscious brain thinks that procrastination is a “good” idea because it creates immediate relief from an unpleasant task.  Obviously, procrastination is a terrible idea as it often makes the unpleasant task even more unpleasant.  In abusive situations, it is normal for the victim’s brain to wrongly conclude that the abuse is happening because the victim is not ‘good enough’.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

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Narcs will never tell you what they want: a babysitter for their emotions

Narcissists are desperately addicted to validation and need a source of emotional supply.  What they really want is for others to give them admiration, adulation, and adoration.  Unfortunately for them, they cannot communicate their needs because it would make them look bad.  This makes life incredibly difficult for them.  When they don’t get their emotional supply, they may lash out at the person denying them their supply.  That person may be incredibly confused as to what the narcissist wants because narcissists do not communicate their twisted needs.  Narcissists rarely keep any of their close friendships because they inevitably destroy their relationships.  They cannot explain their toxic needs and begin to devalue their friends and allies when the toxic needs are not met.  This often leaves the narcissist alone in the barren wasteland that is their life.

Read moreNarcs will never tell you what they want: a babysitter for their emotions