When I walk down the street alone
I start to panic
When people crowd me in a room
I start to panic
Whenever the noise level reaches a pitch that my ears start to twitch
I go into ~ a panic
If the phone’s ringing and says private number
I began ~ to panic
If my eyes lose sight of a jumping spider
Sure enough, I panic
There’s nothing really left to discuss because in almost everything~ I panic!
In all seriousness, panic attacks are all too real for a lot of people. And whether you’re a victim or know someone who is, it’s not to be taken lightly. Some experience this disorder more than others. Can’t deny that it exists and is occurring to more people than we may know. I have a relative that has admitted that he sometimes experience these panic attacks. And if he wouldn’t have told the family we would’ve never known. Still unsure as to what triggers his patterns which are minimal. Nonetheless, he doesn’t have to go through it alone. His fear of worrying that everyone would think he’s crazy kept him from reaching out. Now he’s glad that he did because support from others is what started his first therapy. Knowing that he won’t be going through it alone. Unless you know someone personally ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover.’ Here are some basic facts that I’ve found and wanted to share them.
“I’m losing control…..”
“I feel like I’m going crazy…..”
“I must be having a heart attack…..”
“I’m smothering and I can’t breathe…..”
“It came upon me by surprise. I began to feel wave after wave of fear and my stomach gave out on me. I could hear my heart pounding so loudly I thought it would come out of my chest. Pains were shooting down my legs. I became so afraid I couldn’t catch my breath. What was happening to me? Was I having a heart attack? Was I dying?”
Panic attacks are very real, very awful, and emotionally debilitating. Many people who experience their first panic attack find themselves at hospital emergency rooms……or at doctors’ offices — prepared to hear the very worst news possible about their health.
When they don’t hear that they’ve had a life-threatening condition (such as a heart attack), this news may actually increase their anxiety and frustration: “…if I am physically OK, what happened to me? I experienced something so dreadful I can’t even explain it. So what’s happening to me?”
If a person with panic goes undiagnosed, they can bounce around from doctor to doctor for years on end without experiencing any relief. Instead, it becomes more and more frustrating to the panic sufferer as no one is able to pinpoint the problem and provide any kind of help.
Because the symptoms of panic are very real, the anxiety is so traumatizing, and the whole experience is new and strange, a panic attack is one of the worst experiences a person can have.
Common symptoms of panic include:
- a racing or pounding heartbeat
- dizziness and lightheadedness
- feeling that “I can’t catch my breath”
- chest pains or a “heaviness” in the chest
- flushes or chills
- tingling in the hands, feet, legs, arms
- jumpiness, trembling, twitching muscles
- sweaty palms, flushed face
- fear of losing control
- fear of a stroke that will lead to disability
- fear of dying
- fear of going crazy
A panic attack typically lasts several long minutes and is one of the most distressing conditions a person can experience. In some cases, panic attacks have been known to last for longer periods of time or to recur very quickly over and over again.
The aftermath of a panic attack is very painful. Feelings of depression and helplessness are usually experienced. The greatest fear is that the panic attack will come back again and again, making life too miserable to bear.
People who experience panic and agoraphobia, are not “crazy” and do not need to be in therapy for extended periods of time. Sessions depend on the severity and length of the problem and the willingness of the client to actively participate in treatment and change.