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Have you ever had a panic attack?

JamesJames Posts: 1,706 Extreme Poster
As part of our exploration of panic attacks in the next couple of weeks, we'll be helping you get to know your own panic monster and hopefully learn to tame it a little bit.

A lot of people get attacked by the panic monster, but everyone's panic monster is a little different. Have you ever met yours?

If you've had a panic attack, where did it happen and how did it make you feel?



  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Every single time we take my sister and nephew home, dad gets in the car for a lift to a certain place. So in the back it's me and my sis and a car seat with nephew, then parents in the front. My sister is really understanding and we've decided that dad does it on purpose.

    I. Freak. Out. I literally can't breathe and feel nauseous and nervous. It's horrible, and I always say it makes me feel like I could actually die which they laugh at but I'm being serious! It's terrifying, trapped in with nowhere to go D:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It happens when I'm asleep. I wake up in a panic shaking, can't breathe and feel as though I may actually die. It's scary and confusing.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I remember my first panic attack like it was yesterday. I was at school and felt my chest tighten. It was weird, I didn't get what was happening and as I felt myself get hotter and my breathing start to become more rapid, I honestly thought that in that moment I would die. I was surrounded by a bunch of friends and yet felt completely isolated. It was like I could only see in tunnel vision, everything else around me was black.

    Somehow, I made it down to reception. At this point, I was crying, I had pins and needles in my fingers and toes and my lips had turned blue. I was 14 years old and all I could manage to say was 'I'm dying! I'm dying!'. Thankfully now, I know that wasn't true but it's taken years to recognise these symptoms belonging to panic attacks.

    Since that moment, my panic attacks have resulted in me being linked up to a nebuliser in my doctors, in tears in the back of an ambulance or curled up in bed too afraid to leave. I am lucky to have recently have had a diagnosis of Generalised Anxiety Disorder and OCD which has given me the foundation I needed to understand why I experience panic attacks so often and so severely and allowed me to begin to explore ways to challenge them.

    At the moment, my panic attacks are manifesting most prominently during lectures at university which is a whole new experience for me. It's debilitating and lowers my self-esteem. I often wonder why I can't be like everyone else, why I can't sit through a lecture like any other student, why I have to leave half way through because I feel I'll pass out through lack of oxygen.

    Panic attacks are cruel. They are not prejudice, they do not discriminate and they are not forgiving. But one thing they have done for me is taught me that our bodies are precious and require care both mentally and physically. I have learnt that a panic attack is normally a sign and that yes, it may be important ot challenge myself, but it is important to also be kind to myself.

    If the Panic Attack Monster is out welcoming their stay with you, remember that you're not alone. Someone once told me that during a panic attack, you must remember no matter how scary, how horrific or how debilitating it may seem, it is only temporary. Our bodies can not physically function at such a heightened state of anxiety, it would be impossible. It may seem like common sense, but it is this which is often forgotten during an attack.

    "This too, shall pass."
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I have had lots...too many to count and remember eaxh and every one.xx
  • AuroraAurora Part of the furniture Posts: 11,720 An Original Mixlorian
    It happens when I'm asleep. I wake up in a panic shaking, can't breathe and feel as though I may actually die. It's scary and confusing.

    This!!! -Hugs-
  • ravenclawdashravenclawdash Noob Posts: 68 The answer to life, the universe, and everything
    I get them. I get them in exams, I get them loads of places.
  • BubblesGoesBooBubblesGoesBoo Sunny ScotlandPosts: 3,590 Community Veteran
    i get them whenever i try to get on the bus, as soon as i see the bus pulling up thats me off, it's like loseing control of everything, you try to do something but you can't, like someones performing an exorcism on you.

    I haven't been on a bus in years cause of it...
    ' So I put a bullet where I shouda put a helmet, and I crash my car cause I wanna get carried away, that's why I'm standing on the overpass screaming at myself 'hey, I wanna get better''  
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I get mine just before or after I have a flashback - they're probably linked in some way.
    I also get them sometimes in unfamiliar places and meeting new people

    Sent by Sony Xperia
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I get them in social situations, whether that's a class, group therapy or party, where I feel trapped, pressured to say something or feel as though everything bottled up is about to spill out. I start to tremble and shake and focus way too much on my breathing, heart palpitations, start to get dizzy and light-headed, I get really really touch sensitive, like even a wisp of air would terrify me and I feel this instinctual need to leave the room or crowds but it's like I'm paralysed and I just cannot move. I can feel my legs, it's like they're just itching to stand up and run as fast as I can but I just can't. After a while the panic attack starts to merge into flashbacks so I kind of forget where I am and I just go off in a haze of confusion and unwanted thoughts/memories. If someone interrupts me during a flashback I just kind of feel myself pulled back to reality and am a bit relieved, tbh. If someone interrupts during a panic attack though...well, I think I'd just scream or shake even more nowadays, it's thankfully only happened once or twice.

    But tbf I've never felt like I was going to die. I had a panic attack in the bakery aisle in Asda once because I was reading the nutritional info of foods and in the freshly baked section, they don't have any nutritional info on the packets, and I freaked the hell out. It's sad when things as ridiculous as that can cause you to fall into panic mode.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think only one but I feel anxious and panicky most of the time these days anyway. The main thing I remember is just not being able to breathe and taking really big, harsh breaths and couldnt calm down. I dont know if that the same thing
  • HannHann Meme Queen MancPosts: 3,434 Boards Guru
    I've had one at college, I was feeling worried as I'd never had one before and I also felt scared as I couldn't calm myself down.
  • JamesJames Posts: 1,706 Extreme Poster
    Thanks for all your replies folks. It's not always easy talking about panic attacks, so it's great that so many of you have been able to share your experiences :)

    From all the things you've said, a few things really stand out:
    1. Lots of people experience panic attacks and/or pretty strong anxiety - 11 of you have replied so far!
    2. These can happen in a whole range of situations, from being in a car or waiting for a bus, to being at school/college or in exams. Plus in social situations or even in bed. That's pretty varied I'd say!
    3. Panic attacks are pretty terrifying. You've all described quite a variety of effects they can have, like difficulty breathing, pins and needles, feeling nauseous or trapped and/or thinking that you're going to die.

    Does this look about right?


    Please do keep sharing :)
    We're also exploring ways we can defend ourselves against the panic monster in this thread. Feel free to head over there and tell us your tips for coping with a panic attack!
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