4 posts tagged panic
Hello, it struck me that there are very few articles that deal with how panic attacks actually FEEL when you’re experiencing them, and that writing one might help people who go through them feel less alone.
If you’d like to contribute (anonymously or otherwise), THANK YOU, and contact details are at the end of the post.
As you may or may not know, I’ve had an anxiety and panic disorder most of my adult life, and even spent four years as a housebound agoraphobic. But I experience panic attacks in a very personal way – I know others may find it hard to catch their breath, or find their thoughts racing, or any number of other symptoms. I think it might help other anxiety sufferers if I captured as many of them as possible.
Here are some descriptions of my own panic attacks as I’ve written about them:
"One morning, I was aimlessly browsing in Boots when the ground tilted sharply beneath my feet. My palms ﬂooded with sweat and I was struck by the kind of wooziness you may have felt if, and I don’t mean to be presumptuous here, you’ve ever drunk too much cheap cider.”
– Inner You: Have You Got The Fear, ELLE.
"The shopping mall began vibrating imperceptibly around me. The halogen lights grew too bright and jarring, and everyone seemed to be staring at me. I’d felt a little sick in the car earlier, but had chalked that up to a recent bout of flu. I was light-headed and self-conscious. The world started to spin and throb and my stomach swooped and pitched and cramped up.
"The attacks came thick and fast after that, in any enclosed space outside my home – on the train to my boyfriend’s house; on the bus to my bar job. The world would pulse and warp, and a tremendous dam of nausea would build up inside me until I’d either faint, or be trapped inside a terrible vertiginous inertia.
"When I came to – or couldn’t take it anymore – I’d phone whoever I was trying to see, lie unrepentantly, then hurry home to chain-smoke and drink sugary tea until I stopped shaking. And each time, the shakes would take longer to leave me."
– I Was Housebound With Agoraphobia, xoJane.
Oh, and if it’s any help at all, here are some practical tips I wrote on how to survive a panic attack.
The piece I’m writing will probably be for BuzzFeed. If you’d like to contribute you can reply to this comment, contact me on Tumblr or email me at robyn dot wilder at buzzfeed dot com.
If you’d like to stay anonymous please just write “anonymous” at the end of your account, or just let me know how much info about you to include.
THANK YOU! xx
When I was 21 I thought I was fearless. I wasn’t, of course - say the word ‘spider’ to me and I’d run a mile. But, during my teens I’d done slightly odd things like hitchhiking to Glastonbury Festival, and running away to the USA for a summer. Now I was fresh out of university, flat-sharing with friends, and having the time of my life. Sure, I wasn’t completely confident of what I wanted to do work-wise and my income depended on bar work, but who wouldn’t be happy boasting a guitarist boyfriend, a mane of waist-length, pillarbox-red hair, and their very own not-that-terrible-actually band? Not me. Life was good.
Until, very suddenly and completely without warning, it wasn’t. One morning, I was aimlessly browsing in Boots when the ground tilted sharply beneath my feet. My palms flooded with sweat and I was struck by the kind of wooziness you may have felt if, and I don’t mean to be presumptuous here, you’ve ever drunk too much cheap cider and urgently needed to be sick in a hedge.
With my stomach threatening to explosively empty itself, I scanned the shop for the closest exit. But by that point, the world was see-sawing so violently that I crashed headfirst into the mother & baby aisle and blacked out. Other shoppers looked on in horror as, when I came to, I clambered out from under a large pile of breast pumps and legged it.
I’d never experienced anything like it before, so naturally, I assumed I had somehow contracted Ebola, or that the zombie apocalypse had hit. But, after a restorative cup of tea, I felt perfectly normal again. And as I was neither bleeding from my eyeballs nor craving human flesh, I decided it was just one of Those Things.
However, the next day I went funny again in the local newsagent.
In any enclosed space outside my home – the train to my boyfriend’s house; the bus to my bar job - the world would pulse and warp, and a tremendous dam of nausea would build up inside me until I’d either faint, or be trapped inside a terrible vertiginous inertia.
I write about the four years I spent as a housebound agoraphobic with severe panic disorder in my early twenties - and subsequent recovery - for xoJane.
Plus I manage to crowbar in references to Whitesnake, Yoda, and shitting yourself. Hooray!