Do you want to know what a panic attack feels like? Well, here you go..
You feel it everywhere. A numbness in your fingers, then your face, and later your toes. A harsh tingling, that creeps up through your limbs through your entire body. Your chest feels as though it is being stabbed or sat upon, it is physically painful. You feel choked, and though you can be breathing normally, you can feel as though you are getting no air at all. Lightheaded, you feel like you could go down at any minute or like you are hardly even there at all. Floating, or merely operating on auto drive. Your stomach turns, and you feel like throwing up. Crying, everything gets cold. If you do not know what is happening, you can feel like you are literally dying. Like you could be having a heart attack.
They still happen. Not as often, but when they do they are a huge slap in the face, reminding me that I am not okay. The bright side is that after learning how to breathe correctly, I can at least somewhat control them. All of the physical symptoms are still there and it can last for hours, but I can at least keep them from getting worse. I can take slow steady breaths. I force myself to continue what I am doing as I hold back tears and hear my voice beginning to crack. As I feel like I am dying.
If you say anything about it, people ask what is wrong. You say nothing, because there is no reason. “What happened? Why are you panicking? Your life isn’t even that bad.” Sometimes something simple can set it off, sometimes it can come seemingly out of nowhere, when things are going smoothly and I least expect it. If it were a normal stress response, it wouldn’t be called a disorder.
Most people don’t really understand it’s not because you are actually scared about anything, it’s just happening to you. Between it all, you are short with people. They ask if you want to do something and you say no, but you cannot explain why. You cannot say out loud that you cannot do things because you are having a breakdown or because you are in the middle of a panic attack. You are distant. Sometimes glued to the bed. Other times you cannot be alone because you already feel yourself spiraling and you just want to scream.
This is just what my experience is when it comes to how a panic attack feels. Not everyone has the same kind of triggers when it comes to having an attack. I have dealt with these horrible panic attacks my whole life and I have seemed to gotten them somewhat under control, but when they hit, they come on in full force and knock me to my feet.
Do you suffer from panic attacks? If so, what are your experiences when it comes to having an attack? What tiggers you?