Panic Attacks

pencilToday is all about panic attacks. No I’m not having one at the moment thank goodness, but what brought it to mind was the gas explosion in Durham, NC 4.10.19. I wasn’t thinking so much of my panic attacks, but of these people, towns and countries who experience terror such as this. This will have a lasting effect on Durham I am sure. 

Panic attacks can come on at any time and is a mental illness. I sure wish there was another term for it, but there is not. To my knowledge 1 in 4 people have a mental illness, so we are in this together whether we want to be or not. The most difficult part to having anxiety is talking about it to others who say, “are you all right?” I’m one who “appears” higher functioning and sociable on the outside but it doesn’t invalidate my mental havoc at times. Many don’t carry cue cards or banners advertising their malady. Just a “are you ok today?” is a real pain reliever if one asks. 

What is a real heart breaker is when someone says just “get over it” or “snap out of it”. Wouldn’t one think, “if we could we would?” It isn’t like one morning we wake up and look at our Rolodex and say, “Geee, what mental health illness do I want today?”

Signs of an anxiety attack:

I am one who experiences shortness of breath and it feels like I’m in a paper bag. To help others here, I usually just stop what ever I am doing even if  it’s pushing a grocery cart, reading the paper (which will cause anxiety in anyone) or in a crowd. Following I found some symptoms that may be recognized to possibly help others if you see and individual struggling/suffering in silence. 

                  Sudden overwhelming fear

                  Palpitations

                 Sweating

                Trembling

                Shortness of breath

                Sense of choking

                Chest pain

                Nausea

                Dizziness

                A feeling of being detached from the world (de-realization)

                Fear of dying

                Numbness or tingling in the limbs                                                                         

Let me just add here, “why is it when someone has cancer we don’t shun the individual or diabetes?” A question to keep in mind. 

As I say in closing, onward and upward  care about the one next to you. Love yourself as well and mostly. Just by chance the person next to you may be fighting their own inner battles with mental illness, cancer or diabetes. 

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2 thoughts on “Panic Attacks

  1. Just wanted you to know that not all panic attacks are caused by emotional or mental conditions. I had them for years, but it wasn’t till I was almost fifty that it was discovered they were being caused by an irregular skip in my heart rhythm. I was put on heart medication and never had another panic attack.

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    1. Thank you JJ. Yes, I am aware that mental illness is not necessarily caused by just emotional and mental conditions. A physical condition as well, is another cause. This is why, I dislike it when gun violence is blamed on the mentally ill when the general public feels its an emotional and mental condition. Thanks for your post.

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