Excel At Life logo


PsychArticles button PsychNotes button PsychApps button PsychAudios button PsychTests button About button
Support Excel At Life's Mission!
Help Translate
Spread the Word
Make Contribution
Become a fan on Facebook! Follow on twitter for site updates! Follow on Google+ for site updates!
Excel At Life--Dedicated to the Pursuit of Excellence in Life, Relationships, Sports and Career











Sport Psych


Crazy-Makers: Dealing with Passive-Aggressive People

Why Are People Mean? Don't Take It Personally!

When You Have Been Betrayed

Struggling to Forgive: An Inability to Grieve

Happy Habits: 50 Suggestions

The Secret of Happiness: Let It Find You (But Make the Effort)

Excellence vs. Perfection

Depression is Not Sadness

Conflict in the Workplace

Motivation: Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic

20 Steps to Better Self-Esteem

7 Rules and 8 Methods for Responding to Passive-aggressive People

Promoting Healthy Behavior Change

10 Common Errors in CBT

What to Do When Your Jealousy Threatens to Destroy Your Marriage

Rejection Sensitivity, Irrational Jealousy and Impact on Relationships

For Women Only: How to Have the Relationship of Your Dreams

What to Do When Your Partner's Jealousy Threatens to Destroy Your Relationship

Making Attributions for a Healthier Attitude

Happiness is An Attitude

Thinking Your Way to a Healthy Weight

Guide to How to Set Achieveable Goals

The Effectiveness of Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment for Anxiety Disorders

Co-Dependency: An Issue of Control

The Pillars of the Self-Concept: Self-Esteem and Self-Efficacy

Catastrophe? Or Inconvenience?


Panic Assistance

Motivational Audios

Mindfulness Training

Rational Thinking

Relaxation for Children

Change Yourself--Don't Wait for the World to Change

Loving Kindness Meditation

Self-Esteem Exercise

Meadow Relaxation

Rainy Autumn Morning

Energizing Audios

Quick Stress Relief

Thinking Your Way to a Healthy Weight

Lies You Were Told

Choosing Happiness

Lotus Flower Relaxation

Audio Version of Article: Crazy-Makers: Passive-Aggressive People

Audio Version of Article: Why Are People Mean? Don't Take It Personally!

Audio Version of Article: Happiness Is An Attitude

All Audio Articles

Kindle Books by Dr. Monica Frank


Emotion Training: What is it and How Does it Work?

How You Can Be More Resistant to Workplace Bullying

Are You Passive Aggressive and Want to Change?

When Your Loved One Refuses Help

The Porcupine Effect: Pushing Others Away When You Want to Connect

What if You Considered Other Peoples' Views?

5 Common Microaggressions Against Those With Mental Illness

What to Expect from Mindfulness-based Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (MCBT) When You Have Depression and Anxiety

Does Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Lack Compassion? It Depends Upon the Therapist

When Needs Come Into Conflict

What to Do When Anger Hurts Those You Love

A Brief Primer On the Biology of Stress and How CBT Can Help

50 Tools for Panic and Anxiety

Coping With Change: Psychological Flexibility

Breaking Up is Hard to Do: Ending a Bad Relationship

I'm Depressed. I'm Overwhelmed. Where Do I Start?


Building Blocks Emotion Training

Hot Springs Relaxation

5 Methods to Managing Anger

Panic Assistance While Driving

Autogenic Relaxation Training

Rainbow Sandbox Mindfulness

Mindfulness Training

Riding a Horse Across the Plains

Cityscape Mindfulness

Change Yourself--Don't Wait for the World to Change

The Great Desert Mindfulness

Tropical Garden Mindfulness

Thinking Your Way to a Healthy Weight

Lies You Were Told

Probability and OCD

Choosing Happiness

Magic Bubbles for Children

Lotus Flower Relaxation

Cloud Castles for Children

Hot Air Balloon Motivation

All Audio Articles

15 Coping Statements for Panic and Anxiety

by Monica A. Frank, Ph.D.

Coping statements can be part of your strategy to manage anxiety. What are coping statements? When you struggle with anxiety you are usually engaging in fearful and/or inaccurate self-talk which tends to increase the anxiety. The purpose of coping statements is to counter this anxious self-talk.

This series provides an explanation of some common coping statements. The best way to use them is to identify the ones that are most calming to you and repeat them over and over when you are anxious sort of like a mantra. Combining a single statement with taking slow breaths can be particularly helpful.

Index to 15 Coping Statements


Coping statement #10: “Having anxiety doesn't mean I'm 'crazy'.“

Coping statement #10: “Having anxiety doesn't mean I'm 'crazy'.

You don't lose touch with reality when you are anxious even though it sometimes feels that way. The two symptoms that are disturbing because they often cause those with high anxiety to feel "crazy" are derealization and depersonalization. Both of these symptoms are aspects of heightened awareness.

As discussed with previous coping statements, the autonomic nervous system (ANS) is preparing the body to do something (fight or flee) when faced with a threat and heightened awareness is part of this preparation. However, when you experience hyper-awareness your perspective is different from your normal experience which makes it seem abnormal.

1) Derealization. Sometimes when people experience high anxiety they feel as if things around them are not real. I was once in a car accident in which I saw the car coming towards us and it seemed for that moment time had slowed down. Many people experience this during emergency situations. The reason is because our brain is speeding up trying to process the incoming information in order to react quickly. When the brain speeds up everything seems different which can seem unreal.

2) Depersonalization. For some people with anxiety they feel very detached from their body almost as if they are watching someone else. It feels as if their thoughts and feelings and memories are not their own. Again, during emergencies our bodies need to detach from emotions and thoughts that can be distracting. I've had many clients with anxiety disorders who report that during a true emergency they are very calm and equipped to handle it. I believe the reason is because they know how to detach and focus on the emergency. The problem is when these symptoms occur when there is not a true emergency.

Understanding derealization and depersonalization

The more that those with these symptoms understand the experience of derealization and depersonalization, the more capable they are in coping with it. The ANS is in a hyper-awareness mode. Of course, that's why people with anxiety are sometimes afraid of this symptom—because it is not the normal, everyday experience. Since it is occurring when there is not a true emergency and doesn't feel normal they assume something is wrong with this state of being.

However, the body can't distinguish between a true emergency and anxiety created by irrational fear. The body just reacts. It is up to the brain to evaluate the situation which means consciously assessing the situation and talking yourself through it. By understanding what derealization and depersonalization are and why they occur you can recognize that it is not a sign of something wrong with you. Instead it is a sign of your ANS working as it is supposed to. Knowing that can help you reassure yourself that you are okay.


Questions and Comments

All comments and questions require approval so you may not see your submission immediately.

Become a fan on Facebook! Follow on twitter for site updates! Follow on Google+ for site updates!