Have you ever experienced, sudden overwhelming fear, heart palpitations, sweating, trembling, shortness of breath, the sense of choking, chest pain, nausea, dizziness, detachment, disorientation, fear of dying, numbness or tingling in the limbs or the entire body, chills or hot flashes?
Did those episodes last up to ten minutes?
Did you feel exhausted as if you’d been dragged around the room and beaten and then tossed back into the spot you were in when the whole thing started?
If you have then, according to this article on WebMD you were most likely experiencing a panic attack.
Keep in mind that these symptoms can also be caused by other ailments, so definitely have yourself checked by a doctor.
I know that it is hard.
I hate going to the doctor.
I panic about it weeks before I go.
Usually, I wind up feeling better afterward, though.
I wake up at least a couple of times a week with a panic attack.
I am usually laying down, so I feel as if I am on a merry go round tilted sideways.
The room will feel as if it is spinning, I feel disoriented and terrified.
I can’t breathe.
I feel powerless and weak.
I’m cold and my stomach hurts.
My eyes dart around my cluttered bedroom, searching for something, anything that will ground me back to reality.
Make the room stop spinning.
My goal is to always make the room stop spinning when the room stops spinning then I feel less afraid and a little more in control.
I zoom in on my closet.
It is always something in my closet.
Why is it always something in my closet?
Does it matter?
I spot a pair of black leather boots on a top shelf.
Okay, April, YOU CAN DO THIS!
You have done it before and you can do it again!
YOU are STRONGER than the PANIC and the FEAR!!!
I focus on the boots.
I never take my eyes off of them.
I start taking deep breaths and I start to pray or begin telling myself that it will be okay.
Sometimes I will do both.
The moment usually passes within five minutes, but it feels much longer.
Maybe it is?
I am exhausted.
I feel as if my brain as kicked me around my bedroom and tossed me back into a heap on my bed.
I curl up into a ball and sometimes I will drift back off to sleep.
Other times I just fiddle with my phone until I decide to get up and start my day.
Panic attacks are brutal which is why I was infuriated when I saw this article.
The doctor was berating a patient who was having a panic attack.
“I’m sorry sir, you are the least sick of all the people who are here who are dying,” Dr. Beth Keegstra is heard telling the patient.
Samuel Bardwell, a 20-year-old college athlete, had collapsed at basketball practice with an apparent anxiety attack. He told the doctor he can’t breathe.
“He can’t inhale,” she replied, mocking him. “Wow! You must be dead. Are you dead, sir? I don’t understand. You are breathing just fine.”
Thankfully she was suspended from her job there.
People like her are the reason that it is difficult for those of us with mental illness to seek treatment in the first place!
It takes so much courage to make a call to get help and then go into the doctor’s office and explain your symptoms.
This man deserved better.
We all deserve better than to be treated like this so-called doctor treated him.
If you are reading this I hope that you will seek help.
I have said many times before that I am not an expert.
My goal with this blog is to create a safe place to discuss mental illness and to not feel alone.
Please feel free to comment or email me if you would like to chat one on one.