There aren’t many people in my life who know that I suffer from panic attacks and anxiety. I’m fortunate in that for me they are not severe and they do not leave me house bound with a fear for leaving.
I want to share with you what it is like to have anxiety and panic attacks because it is a mental condition that some people may have but feel like they can’t share it with anyone incase they are seen as weak.
What is a panic attack?
This is a question with many answer depending on who you ask. For me, it is the fear of no control over something, a fear of my body needing to do something that it won’t do. For example:- When I had my miscarriage I was given Morphine to help with the pain. (I get sick on Morphine) I had already been given anti sickness for the Morphine but it didn’t work and I instantly wanted to throw up my body couldn’t bring anything up but the feeling was still there I went into an instant panic attack…..I also happened to be hook up to a heart rate monitor. My heart rate spiked so much it set the alarm off.
Whenever I feel like I have no control over what my body is doing it normally triggers the attack. Luckily for me these attacks don’t happened very often. The only other trigger for them is if I’m really upset crying and I’m struggling to catch my breath, then that trigger the attack causes hyperventilation because I’m scared I can’t cath my breath causing me to hyperventilate more and the cycle continues.
When did it all start?
It was around 2008 when I had my first panic attack, I don’t remember exactly what triggered it but I remember I was up town and it started it was horrible, I felt so scared I rushed into the shop I worked in and went and sat in the office, within seconds it got worse my hands clamped shut like crab pincers, they filled with pins and needles, I got pins and needles in my feet and even my vision felt spotty like how I image pins and needles to look like if you got them in your eyes.
It was the most surreal situation I had been in I felt like I was floating above my body looking down. I remember I was also crying desperate to be able to open my hands. Eventually it passed.
After that I had the small attack but nothing major. I did have a major one once a few days after I got back from my honeymoon we were at the fair and we went on a ride that just in every direction…at the time I didn’t think it was a panic attack because it was nothing like I had ever experience. The entire left side of my body was shaking quite strongly, my speech was slurred, the police got the paramedics and I ended up in the ambulance that was there so they could check my heart they were worried I was having a heart attack or a stroke. Luckily it was just a very severe attack. I feel like I was hung over for days because the ride had messed with my inner gyroscope.
Since then however I have only really had maybe 3 or 4 attacks at the most.
How do I deal with it?
I deal with my attacks the only way I know how and that is to breath through them with my husbands help and to try to catch them before they take hold. I also make sure that I relax in my free time and make time for myself.
My husband is probably the only person other than myself who knows the triggers and the signs I start to show just before an attack takes hold, and he is right there with me talking to me in my ear reminding me to take deep slow breaths, to slow my breathing down. He’s fantastic I think if it wasn’t for his calmness I would have a lot more attacks.
I have never been to the doctor about them because they aren’t frequent or severe so I don’t need medication and I deal with it myself by breathing and by making time for myself to calm my mind.
I have found since running, that I find my mind is a lot clearer, yes I have days where I struggle to keep my mind calm and free of the triggers. But that’s the thing with Panic attacks you just have to manage them the best you can. For me this means breathing through them and spending my free time doing thing’s that keep me relaxed like colouring, reading, having soaks in the bath.
Symptoms of Panic Attacks
There are many symptoms for Panic Attacks some of them are as follows:-
- Racing heart
- a sense of fear
- pins and needles in the hands and or feet
- a fear of losing control
- not being able to catch your breath
These are just some examples there is a long list online. I’d also like to point out I am not a healthcare professional this is just from my experience and what I have found online.
I suffer from every single one of the symptoms listed above.
This is relatively new for me, I’d in the last couple of years. The trigger of suffering from Anxiety started when I started having pregnancy problems. You can read about my pregnancy problem in My Journey To Motherhood post. Again my anxiety is trigger by a fear of no control, and sheer worry that something will happen to my family, not all the time but for example I had anxiety about my husbands Bungee Jump for month’s and it wasn’t until I saw people doing the Bungee jumps in person that the fear left. I just had this fear that Matt would jump and his head would be smashed on the ground and I had no control over it. I also get anxiety about Matt taking Lexi to school, She doesn’t live in the city as us so for Matt it half a Half hour drive each way and the route he takes there are always accident’s on the road, so I worry that he will be in a crash and I won’t know. The day’s he normally takes her to school he work’s from the office so I always make him txt me when he gets to work.
I even imagine the worst thing’s happening to Logan if he was to fall over onto the corner of a table just because I have no control over what would happen. Stupid I know but that is the reality of my anxiety.
Now because the anxiety is relatively new and I get anxiety far more than I do actual panic attacks I am keeping an eye on it in case I do need to go to the doctors about. I’m also very aware of how I left it physically affect me because I don’t want Logan to grow up with anxiety of his own because it isn’t a fun thing to have.
I worry that my anxiety is going to hold me back in the future with some things because it scares me or because I can’t control the situation.
How do I deal with them?
I try to deal with my anxiety much in the same way I deal with my panic attacks, I try to remain calm and breath, I also try to tell myself that everything will be ok, and that I need to trust myself or the people I love.
So there you go, a bit of insight into my world and how I deal with my anxiety and with my panic attacks. It is a mental condition and while I do suffer from them and that I’m lucky I don’t have attacks often.
This is something that is very personal to me and it’s not something I often talk openly about with people, but I wanted to share my story and how I cope in the hope it might help someone else or even allow someone to relate to what I go through.
Do you suffer from panic attacks or from anxiety? maybe someone you love suffer’s from them and you don’t know how to help. Whatever your story is, get in touch I’d love to hear from you either in the comments or via Twitter and Facebook.
Thanks for reading until next time.