Before I begin this blog post, I’d like to let you know that this is quite a personal thing for me to write, but I wanted to share this with you as I’m hoping that if you’re reading this as a panic attack sufferer, I may help you in some way. Alternatively, if you are reading this and you know someone who suffers with panic attacks, I hope I can help you get a better understanding and display ways in which you can show support.
Anxiety is an awful emotion to feel, a feeling that cannot be controlled & you are unaware of it creeping up on you. There is different type of anxiety and it effects each of us diffrently. From a simple thing like I’ve got work tomorrow to something a lot more scary like a job interview or waiting for your appointment at the dentist. When we’re stressed, our anxiety levels are much higher and some of us become a lot more sensitive to it. For the people who are calm you will have much lower anxiety.
Extremely high levels of anxiety, can in a lot of people, cause panic attacks, whether you are aware of your anxiety or not.
I’ve suffered with panic attacks for 10 years, and so i’m writing this blog post for those of you who struggle to understand, feel alone, need advice or need someone else to understand.
It’s understandable that not everybody “gets” what a panic attack is. In fact i’m pretty sure more people don’t understand than do, which is really sad. Even some of the people closest to me, struggle to understand exactly how it affects me, or my life, or some decisions that I choose to make. Even after hours of explaining, the only advice they can give me is to be positive and not to stress too much. Unless someone has been through a panic attack themselves, they will never truly or fully understand.
Panic attacks come on very quickly, symptoms usually peak within 10 minutes. Most panic attacks last for between 5 and 20 minutes. Some people report attacks lasting for up to an hour, but they are likely to be experiencing one attack after another, or a high level of anxiety after the initial attack. This is what I suffer from, If I ever have a panic attack, it will never last long if i can find a place to be alone or somewhere I feel comfortable, which can sometimes be hours away.
Something people don’t seem to understand, is that self esteem is serious issue from suffering these attacks. I still, to this day, think that people judge me and laugh at me, and that they possibly all talk about how weird I am, or how annoying I am for having panic attacks, or even that they may think you make it up, or are using it as an excuse.
People who suffer panic attacks, don’t want to feel this way. We don’t want to get on a plane and think “I really hope I get to the other end without panicking”, we don’t want to restrict the way we live because of something we can’t control that leaves us feeling mentally and physically drained for days/weeks/months on end. We want to be normal, and carry on with our everyday lives without any added anxiety. I’d love to be able to say “I don’t worry about anything, besides the normal things”. After a panic attack, I feel so upset, but it’s mostly anger. Angry at myself for not having any control and angry that I don’t know how to make it stop. Then I feel angry because I feel like nobody understands.
What helps me?
When I’m actually having a panic attack, I find the only things that really take the edge off, are going outside, walking away from the place I was and taking myself away from that stressful situation (I know this sounds weird, and probably looks it, but when you have so much adrenaline and your muscles are pumped, you should do some form of exercise to use the adrenaline, which is why i usually go for a workout to calm myself and use that adrenaline towards my energy. Its very easy to have a negative mindset through this situation. Make sure to be positive, surround yourself with positive people and take your mind off what triggers your anxiety.
I really hope this can help and feel free to leave your comments below.