Panic and anxiety disorders are some of the most common disorders in the world. While many people suffer from anxiety, those who have anxiety with panic attacks can have a weakened social and work life that can lead to depression, due to their attacks and outlook on life. Experts say a panic attack can happen at anywhere and at any time for most people. Victims of these attacks will feel like they are having a heart attack with symptoms such as heartbeat, rapid breathing, sweating, shaking and feeling extremely overwhelmed. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), their attacks can last from around 15 seconds but that doesn’t mean its completely over, the symptoms can continue to go on for 30 minutes or longer. People who do have these attacks say that it is one of the most terrifying and uncomfortable experiences they have to go through. Some who suffer from panic disorders get attacks multiple times a week.
Four people (who all wished to remain anonymous) spoke up about what its like to have a panic attack and how they handle them in their everyday lives.
1. You feel like you’re sinking:
Having a panic attack is pretty scary depending on the severity of it and my attacks are simply just me kinda sinking into myself where I can’t handle my thoughts to the point where I just stop in my tracks and my heart is beating at a scary rate.
I get them weekly and they are usually brought on by work or personal stress and I get triggered very easily by past trauma.
The way I handle my panic attacks is by closing my eyes and I try focusing on my breathing. Alerting my attention can sometimes make that intense feeling my panic attack is giving me go away. It is not fully stopped but just enough to where I can dig myself out of that feeling.
2. You feel like you’re dying.
It’s a terrible feeling especially when you first have one because you don’t fully understand what’s happening. My first panic attack landed me in the ER because I couldn’t catch my breath and my heart was beating abnormally while I was at work so I started to freak out. When I got checked out of the ER they basically just told me I must have been having a panic attack which was just shocking because I didn’t feel stressed at the time.
Since then I know what they feel like so when they do start to come up I practice breathing normal and attempt to not focus on them.
I also try to avoid caffeine and any added stress if possible for the rest of the day and eventually they will slowly fade away. Life just get’s crazy!