Monday, August 23, 2004

In the midst of a panic attack

I'm in the midst of a major panic attack right now. I have no idea what triggered it. Was just sitting there watching a movie and I could feel the anxiety growing & growing. Then it got to the point where I couldn't sit still any longer. I'm shaking and it is so hard to breathe. I'm trying to remain calm because I know if I get worked up things will just get worse.

It's been at least a month since I had a panic attack. I sure didn't miss them. My fingers are going numb. Figured I'd try and write here in the hopes that it will distract me. Maybe offer some relief or help end the attack quicker. My throat feels like it's closing up, each breath is a struggle.

I first started having the attacks when I was about 19 or 20. I'd wake up in the middle of the night and feel incredibly shaky, nauseous and had trouble breathing. They'd come every night for almost 2 months and then they'd stop as suddenly as they started. Had no clue what the problem was back then. Went years without having them again. They returned towards the end of my pregnancy. Ended up in the emergency room countless times because I had no idea what was going on.

That time they lasted almost nightly for a year. Got so bad that I was afraid to go to sleep. I finally found a doctor who gave me a diagnosis of panic attacks. Still don't understand why they usually hit during the night, when I was nice and relaxed.

For the last two years I've been experiencing them off and on. Sometimes during the day, other times they wake me up at night. It's such a horrible feeling. Even though I know what these attacks are now, I still don't understand why they happen. Rarely do they ever happen during a situation where I would need to panic. They always come when I'm in a calm state.

Maybe my body just doesn't like calm. So often I'm feeling stressed out, even when there is little stress in my life, that my body just becomes alarmed on it's own when I'm relaxing. It's foreign to me and maybe that's what I'm panicking about.

I thought about calling the psych hospital's emergency number and seeing if they could offer any advice on how to deal with this til it passes. But I can't call them. There's just too much fear involved with calling the hospital. Guess I'll just keep shaking and telling myself that this will pass on its own.


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