I use many tools to escape a panic or depression attack. I am not always in the mood to do art, especially, not at 2:30 in the morning. Often I will play a video game. I have a tricked out computer and a Xbox 360 and those guys help fill my mind up with other worlds and perspectives.
Think of it this way: You are watching a movie on the back of your retinas right now. Its has the label “reality” but what if I played a different movie on your retina. Could I trick your brain into that reality? What if your physical movements (joystick, controller, etc) equaled some movement in this substitute world? When I am in a mild to moderate panic attack I can climb into an openworld game (borderlands, gta, minecraft, etc) and dull out the ‘real’ world around me.
At the height of my depression, I played through every major open world game there is. My steam account is about 400 titles and several hundred on the XBOX. I have played thousands of hours which really helped me. Times when art or writing did not work, I could drift off into a world and be someone else for awhile. Someone without issues, without depression, without sadness. Who was fast, smart, daring, and safe.
I have become a fantastic FPS (first person shooter) player. The downside is now I move through those games at such speed that I am rarely the level the game designers think I should be at most points in the game. So I am a level 19 fighting the boss fight of a character expected to be leveled (and weaponed) in the 30’s. I end up pea-shooting the boss to death over hours. Fun and sucky. Oh, did I mention I am in my late 40’s? I am usually pretty out of place at the Gamestop in my local town, but to me, its really the drug store where I can buy something to help me escape pain and agony for a little while, thus, be a little saner at the end of the day.