Today I felt like doing a more chatty post about something that I’ve experienced for a while now. Ever since I was somewhere around 10 years old I have had these, what I can only describe as, panic attack-like experiences. It normally happens when I’m stressed out, surrounded by (even just a little bit of) clutter, or if I’m in a specific place where, for whatever reason, I feel in danger.
If I’m stressed out it goes like this: I start by feeling like I have so much to do but no time to do it, which causes me to stress. Then suddenly, I can’t think, which stresses me even more. I continuously lose my train of thought and I feel like I’m losing control over my life, my brain, and even my body. My hands and feet go tense along with the rest of my muscles and I feel trapped within my own skin. I get extremely claustrophobic and feel like I’m stuck wherever I am and can’t get out. By then I’m normally on the floor with my knees against my chest and arms wrapped around my legs stretching and clenching my fingers and toes in effort to regain control over my body. I fear not having enough time to do whatever needs to be done. My heart races and I feel as if I can not breath. I’m nauseous, my breath is shaky and I’m probably crying from frustration. I basically panic.
This can last from 5-30 minutes. Sometimes there is something specific that triggers the feeling and other times there is no reason for it at all. I don’t know exactly what I’m experiencing or whether it is a panic attack or not. All I know is I’ve never felt that much fear at once. The feeling of losing that much control over yourself is remarkably scary.
I can also have a similar feeling in certain places. Stores in older buildings tend to be the type of place that really triggers this feeling. In this situation I typically feel, what I can only describe as, uncomfortable. All I can think about is getting out of that location. I feel trapped and in danger like someone is watching me or like somehow I’m going to get hurt or like something bad is going to happen. But most of all, I feel terribly nauseous and as if there is a giant lump in my throat. In this situation the panic is more controllable but just as intense a feeling.
I’d never really thought of this being a panic attack until a few days ago when I discovered an old Zoella video about her panic attacks and anxiety and found what she was describing as a panic attack to be VERY similar to what I have experienced for last 5 or 6 years of my life. I did a little research about panic attacks and so far everything I have found matches up with my “attacks”. I’m no professional therefore I can not diagnose myself but if anyone has had these symptoms or knows anything about panic attacks that may help me to find out what I’ve been experiencing, feel free to comment or email me (firstname.lastname@example.org). Thanks for listening to my little chat/rant and good luck to any of my readers who are going back to school soon, I’m so not excited