We All Panic

There’s something terribly ironic about feeling crazy for having a panic attack.

On one hand, you deal with the fact your entire world is shaking under your feet like a slowly preceded earthquake and you’re the only person to feel it, while in the other you have a desperate need to conceal that unadulterated fear. Mix those two things together at the same time and you get something along the lines of calling your mom in the middle of class in tears and a Uber quickly approaching to take you to the ER. If it gets bad enough.

Well, hey! That was my Thursday morning and now I’m unashamed to say it. I think there’s a very strange self-imposed stigma about having anxiety and panic attacks. To me, it makes me feel like when I explain it all that I’m putting someone in an awkward situation.

I care too much about what those people think, just as well, and I’m filled with fluttering thoughts of what must be racing through their mind. ‘Oh! That’s... unfortunate.’ They can’t put a stern emotion through. ‘I’m sorry to hear that, are you ok?’. I can’t even talk to myself about it.

That’s the point of spiral I think. Even at the peak of one’s psychotic break it still seems impossible not to care what others think. I have to appear sane, I have to look collected, I must get it through their heads that this is what thriving looks like!

When it’s simply not true.

My experience with a full-blown panic attack felt to me as if I was going insane. I could feel the words leaving their intended meaning in my head and overanalyzing every single detail felt like the right and wrong thing at the same time. A million tiny battles were raging a massive war in my head and my synapses were being pulled apart. I was decomposing and racing at full speed together.

How could I stop it? How could I prevent it?

If you’re reading this and you feel in any way similar, I am in your place. I’ve desperately scoured the internet searching for preventative or, at last resort, reactive measures and found ‘hints’ and ‘tips’ that could help me out of my situation.

 

But what I know is:

1. It’s probably stress based. Step back and look at your situation. Take some self-care and read a book or meditate. Sometimes we’re just overwhelmed.

2. Think of a panic attack or any extreme anxiety as a bucket full of splashing water. Pretend you’re a stick. Yes, a stick. You want to stop the turbulence of the water? Thrashing the stick in it all panic-like isn’t going to help. Take a few breaths and let the water still itself.

3. Have no fear in talking to someone. You and your crazy self are just human and need to reach out sometimes, and that’s ok.