A Panic Attack.

January 4, 2010
Sometimes the world feels like it's falling down and crushing me under it's thick fingers. I feel like the sky is on fire and my fears are brought to life when I have a panic attack. I wake up in the middle of night, sweating and crying for no reason. My heart beat increases and I start to breathe fast, shallow breaths. I clutch at my chest, it feels like it will burst with every tremor of fear that climbs up my insides and slides back down, giving me the butterfly effect. Sometimes it is triggered by a nightmare that is all to realistic for my tastes, or it is brought on by the thought of my death or a death of a close friend or family member. Then I fumble around my room in the dead of night to turn on the light. I jump a bit when it flickers on.

My chest is exploding, I feel like I might die right then and there. Something inside of me is doing jumped and flips and punching me in the gut. It stretches out my lungs and tickles my heart and I sweat. I clamber on the floor and get to my bed and sit, propped up on my pillow and the headboard. I try to take deep breaths, but they escape my mouth as tiny gasps and I squeeze my eyes shut, hoping the panic attack will end soon. I try not to be loud as I think of myself dying right there because I couldn't breath or my heart stops. My heart skips a beat and I hold my breath, it starts again, and I lay myself down.

I reach for a glass of water and gulp it down. Soon enough I am rocking in the foetal position, trying to think of happy things, like strawberries and ice cream and the fall. Eventually, slowly, my heart rate decreases and I am able to breathe deeply. One more time my heart skips a beat but I manage not to freak out. I calm myself down and turn on the radio the classical music station and slowly go to sleep.

Panic attacks and anxiety attacks plague many people all over the globe, they are a panic disorder. Panic disorder is an anxiety disorder that causes repeated, unexpected attacks of intense fear. These attacks may last from minutes to hours. Usually the victims experience intense feelings of unreality, fear of dying, losing control and choking and detachment. Dizziness, sweating, nausea and hot flashes also are very common. You're palms may tingle and you feel like everything around you is falling apart.

If you have ever experienced a panic attack you may think you are having a heart attack or that you are simply 'going crazy'. People who have panic attacks may accidentally start them by panicking about having panic attacks. If you are a woman you are twice as likely to have a panic disorder than if you are a man. They can be triggered by extreme stress, extreme changes in environment (Family, school, work, etc...) and can be a very scary experience.

Most people start having panic attacks before the age of 25, children usually aren't diagnosed until they are older. People often go to the ER, thinking they are having a heart attack, causing them to panic further. If you have panic attacks, try to avoid alcohol and caffeine filled items, as they may worsen the attacks. Many people are afraid to go to the doctor because they doubt the seriousness of their condition, while it can be controlled, it is a frightening thing to have. Some people feel they are alone, when they aren't at all. Some people can figure out ways to calm themselves down, or to prevent the panic attacks. If you have panic attacks in places you can avoid, avoid them. But if they happen in the home or any other place you have to be at, look into medications.

Until you do, you might be stuck waiting up at the wee hours of the morning, praying that your heart will not burst open and that you will not die. Scary, frightening, horrible, evil. Those are all words I'd use to describe an attack. They scare the life out of me, and I try to calm down, and I try to gather my thoughts, but I might scare myself further. I don't have them a lot, but when I do, they are doozies. I urge anyone who had panic attacks to get it checked out. You never know when panic attacks might spring up and strangle you with their icy claws.





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sarahfara53 said...
Oct. 18, 2010 at 10:01 pm
Thank you for writing this article! I also have panic disorder, and it explains is really well. I completeley agree that panic attacks are incredibly scary, and are very hard to deal with.  But you dont have to avoid places or expierences, however tempting it is, because of panic attacks, because that is just letting your anxiety control you. But great writing, and I hope it gets better for you.
 
TheN3RDWAD replied...
Oct. 19, 2010 at 4:27 pm
Thank you for reading it.  I hope that it gets better, and you are right, it is letting them control you, so I should say that you can power through them, but sometimes you should try not to do it if you know the repurcussions.  My attacks have become farther and fewer between.  I wish you all the luck in the world to feel better, and I'm glad that you read this and commented, it means a lot. :)
 
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