In group therapy today, I heard a term that I never heard of before: extinction burst.
I’ve been doing my best to practice mindfulness and CBT. Yet I had a mini panic attack last week, and I’ve been feeling as though I’m about to have another one for a few days. When I shared this in my group, the therapist said that I may be experiencing extinction bursts. If I understand the term correctly, an extinction burst occurs when I’m actually doing my best to prevent panic. The panic is now trying to come back at me, pretty much because it’s used to coming at me.
The therapist said that the panic will try to come back in force, and even though I’ll feel shitty, the best thing I can do is just keep doing what I’m doing to prevent it.
My therapist swears this is a good thing, but to me, this tends to suck. I don’t want my panic to come knocking full force. I want it to go the fuck away.
Have you had extinction bursts? How did you deal with them? Any constructive advice is much appreciated.