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Foaming at the Mouth in Malibu


This example is taken from when I was doing daily outings to overcome my agoraphobia.  I was driving about 15 miles up the Pacific Coast Highway from Santa Monica to Malibu.  My anxiety was a 4 on a scale of 0-10.  I wasn't aware of much in the way of sensations, but I could identify my scary thought.

Scary thought:  I could have a panic attack and go crazy.

Challenging the scary thought (Q & A style):

Q: How many people have become psychotic as a result of having a panic attack?
A: Zero.  None, ever, in the history of the world.  Millions of people have had millions of panic attacks, and it has never happened.

Q: How many people have become psychotic because they drove to Malibu?
A: Again, zero.

Q: What's the chance that I'll suddenly become psychotic as a result of driving to Malibu?
A: ZERO!!


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