Panic Diary Instructions
You can recover from panic attacks by learning how to cope with them, because the attacks will generally fade away once you lose your fear of them. In order to do this, it is essential that you learn as much about your attacks as possible, and train yourself to be a good observer during an attack. Use the accompanying panic diary to record each attack and your responses by following the instructions below. Complete a description for each attack as it occurs. Don’t wait until later – fill out the form during the attack! That will seem difficult, but will probably be less difficult than it seems.
STEP 1: Fill in “Date” and “Name”.
STEP 2: Next to “Level”, rate your level of panic on a scale of 0 to 10, in which 0 means no panic, and 10 means the worst panic possible.
STEP 3: Next to “Time began” and “Time ended”, record those times. ALWAYS time your attacks whenever they occur. Don’t rely on estimates!
STEP 4: Next to “Symptoms”, record the symptoms you experience during the attack
STEP 5: Next to “What type?”, classify your attack as one of the following types.
SPONTANEOUS ATTACK: a panic attack that appears to come “out of the blue.” This classification is not used when you are in a feared situation, or thinking about something fearful. ANTICIPATORY ATTACK: a panic attack that occurs while thinking of facing a feared situation, or thinking about something fearful. SITUATIONAL ATTACK: a panic attack that occurs while you are in a feared situation.
STEP 6: Next to “Where are you?”, record your location at the time of the attack.
STEP 7: Next to “What were you doing when the attack began?”, record your activity at the time of the attack.
STEP 8: Next to “Are you alone?”, answer yes or no. If no, record who is with you.
STEP 9: Record your thoughts and images immediately before the panic attack.
STEP 10: Record your disturbing thoughts and images during the panic attack. BE SPECIFIC!
STEP 11: Describe what you say to yourself to calm yourself.
STEP 12: Describe what you do to calm yourself.
STEP 13: Describe how the panic attack ends (what causes it to end?).
STEP 14: Record any different responses that you want to use next time you have an attack.
STEP 15: Bring it to our next meeting!
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Level (0-10) _______________ Time began: __________________ Time ended: ___________________
What type? ____________________________________________________________________________
Where are you? ________________________________________________________________________
What were you doing when the attack began? _________________________________________________
Are you alone? (If not, list who is present) ___________________________________________________
What were you thinking before the attack? ___________________________________________________
What were you thinking during the attack? ___________________________________________________
How did you talk back to the fears? _________________________________________________________
What actions did you take to calm yourself? _________________________________________________
How did the attack end? __________________________________________________________________
How do you want to respond differently next time? ____________________________________________