There are so many management strategies and techniques available to help us manage our panic attacks, agoraphobia, derealization, depersonalization, avoidance, and whatever else panic and anxiety may throw our way. Some of them are incredibly simple; however, our occupied minds roll right over them. It isn’t too awfully surprising that we don’t at times see the forest for the trees, is it? Well, one of the techniques I’ve used over the years to help me publicly cope with panic is something I refer to as “Who Gives a Hoot.”

Incorporating the principles of “Who Gives a Hootness,” I was fully prepared to be seen as the biggest fool in the world during a panic attack and not give a hoot about what anyone thought. I believe adopting this philosophy is so very essential to recovery. No doubt, we’re always overly concerned about how we’ll appear if a stranger witnesses one of our panic attacks. To us, that would be the ultimate in humiliation. What would we say? How could we explain? And this obsession with not wanting to be seen having a panic attack is just one of the major contributors to so many of our avoidance challenges.

May I be blunt? Who really cares what anyone thinks, as if all eyes are on us 24/7, as we traditionally believe.

Listen, everyone out there has their issues. Oh, they may not be real visible and they may not own up to them, but they’re there. So don’t feel anyone has anything on you. They don’t. And please put an end to this notion that everyone’s constantly looking at, and evaluating, you. Believe me, the world could care less. You may be totally consumed with your every breath and heartbeat; however, the world doesn’t share even a fraction of your interest. Yes, this philosophy helped me deal with my disorder in public on a “what if” basis.

But guess what? The “what if” never happened!

Do you understand what I’m saying here? I’ve never once been seen as the biggest fool in the world during a panic attack. Have you? And as you’re answering that question, make sure you fully understand that your perception of how you appeared is more than likely far removed from how you really presented. I’ll guarantee you could tell a family member, friend, or co-worker you were having panic symptoms at a time when you were together; and chances are they’d tell you they had no idea. Heck, I’ve worked with clients that I wouldn’t have had a clue suffered from panic if I hadn’t already known why they were talking with me.

Don’t make the mistake of believing the tornado whirling inside your head is visible on the outside. It isn’t. I know that may be hard to comprehend since most everything in your mind so often revolves around your disorder, the warped way in which you view yourself, and your entrapment in a disorder-tainted world. But, it’s true. And while you’re at it, do yourself a huge favor and do not view tomorrow based upon how you think, feel, and behave at this particular juncture in your life. Take your current perspective, thinking, feeling, and behavior with a huge grain of salt. Don’t let them influence your vision of what today really is, and what the future may hold.

Use this perspective, and the “Who Gives a Hoot” technique, as you establish a deep sense of confidence and move forward socially. I’m telling you, they will work for you. But, like everything strategy and technique I offer, you must practice, practice, and practice some more.

Author's Bio: 

After a winning bout with panic disorder Bill found his life's passion and work. So he earned his counseling credentials and is doing all he can to lend a hand to those having a tough time.

Bill authored a panic attack education and recovery eworkbook entitled, "Panic! ...and Poetic Justice," which is available on his website. And he now has a blog up and running, which is accessible through his website. Lots of good stuff going on and much more to come.