The Crippling Panic Attack

“No amount of me trying to explain myself was doing any good. I didn’t even know what was going on inside of me, so how could I have explained it to them?”
― Sierra D. Waters, Debbie.


Back in the early nineties I was working in a fast food chain as a morning manager. I was going through a rough time. I didn’t know what was happening within me at that time, but a sudden rush of complete panic would wash over me. It was like a was staring at the meanest guard dog and frozen in my tracks.

There was a walk -in clinic just around the corner from where I lived and went to see a doctor. I explained to him how I was feeling and he gave me a prescription for Prozac. They seemed to work but they left me feeling dazed all the time.

I quit the job and moved back into the Kitchener area into a bachelor apartment. A new grocery food chain had opened just down the block. Since I was having trouble coping in crowds I decided to have a friend take me there around midnight. I was doing fine with the shopping and was nearing finishing up. Then a horrible panic attack hit me, the worse I have had to that time. The “fight or flight” kicked in, I turned leaving the cart full of groceries and ran back to my apartment.

For those who have never suffered a panic attack would find it hard to understand. I am not sure I even have the words to describe it fully. They seem to come from out of nowhere, no rhyme or reason, they just hit you like a medicine ball taking the wind out of your body. They leave you frozen on the spot with nerves jumping at every movement around you.

Here is what Anxiety and Depression Association of America writes about Panic Disorder:

Panic Disorder Symptoms

A panic attack is the abrupt onset of intense fear or discomfort that reaches a peak within minutes and includes at least four of the following symptoms:

  • Palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Sensations of shortness of breath or smothering
  • Feelings of choking
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Nausea or abdominal distress
  • Feeling dizzy, unsteady, light-headed, or faint
  • Chills or heat sensations
  • Paresthesia (numbness or tingling sensations)
  • Derealization (feelings of unreality) or depersonalization (being detached from oneself) Listen to this podcast.
  • Fear of losing control or “going crazy”
  • Fear of dying

I have learned over the years on how to handle a panic attack should they hit while I am out doing shopping. I just stop wherever I am at, start concentrating on my breathing with deep breaths then exhale. I do this until I feel calm again. I do not stop to consider what others may be thinking about what I am doing.

Panic attacks though not seen, except from a person’s reactions, are so very real. They bring on a sense of danger, horror, even feeling like you might die of a heart attack.

So dear reader if you or someone you know suffers with Panic Disorder you have my sympathies! For those who do not suffer, but, know someone who does, please be patient with them, try using calming words to help them focus and bring themselves back to calm.

A Re-blog: Anxiety: Stop Negative Thoughts — Readers choices

I found this post written by Dr Kalpana Mishra. Give it a read, I hope you will click the “like” on her post.


Anxiety: Stop Negative Thoughts Anxiety is having too much fear and worry. Some people have what’s called generalized anxiety disorder. They feel worried and stressed about many things. Often they worry about even small things. Some people also may have panic attacks. A panic attack is a sudden feeling of extreme anxiety. People who have social anxiety […]

Anxiety: Stop Negative Thoughts — Readers choices

A Re-Blog: Why Excessive Hand Washing Is Not My Main “OCD Problem” During The Pandemic — Overcoming OCD

What is it like to live with OCD in times of a pandemic? Well, every person has their own answer to this question and I think it is time to share mine. The other day, I was reading through articles about OCD in the age of COVID-19 and one thing I noticed was that the […]

Why Excessive Hand Washing Is Not My Main “OCD Problem” During The Pandemic — Overcoming OCD

A Re-Blog: 2020 World Mental Health Day — Women & Well Being

World Mental Health Day is celebrated every year on October 10th. It was established October 10, 1992 by Richard Hunter. Hunter was the Deputy Secretary General of the World Federation for Mental Health. The top 5 warning signs: Long term sadness or irritability Extreme high and low mood swings Excessive fear, worry or anxiety Social […]

2020 World Mental Health Day — Women & Well Being

A Re-blog: The Depression Diaries — Beth McIntyre

Today I took some time to catch up on some tags that I follow. Below is one that caught my heart. Beth has a story to tell one that may help others. I have a feeling she is new to the WordPress community. After reading this post drop her a line in the comment section.


Entry 1. 15 September 2020. Bucharest, Romania. Hi. I’m Beth. I’ve struggled with my mental health for as long as I can remember. Well okay, not as long as I can remember, but for a long time. I was first diagnosed with depression at 13 (maybe 14?) years old. I turn 30 next month. I […]

The Depression Diaries — Beth McIntyre

A Reblog: DANGERS OF SOCIAL MEDIA ON MENTAL HEALTH — Escapades by Chebet

As much as social media is great, it also has a negative effect on mental health. Statistics show that the rate of suicide,self-harm, depression and anxiety have risen in the last few years due to social media, especially within the teens and young adults.

via DANGERS OF SOCIAL MEDIA ON MENTAL HEALTH — Escapades by Chebet

A Re-blog: Sitting with my Mental Illness. (A Fresh Examination). — DWalksZen – A Meditation Journal

So a week has passed and it is blog day. I updated the mindful commandments and a modified excerpt from my journal is here: Core feelings So, later I will see that realisations, I call ‘antidotes’ can treat my core feelings, if I acknowledge them for the first time, every time so that mental blockage […]

via Sitting with my Mental Illness. (A Fresh Examination). — DWalksZen – A Meditation Journal

A Reblog: Mental Illness and the Workplace — The Art of Mental Illness

I spent a good portion of my life struggling on my own. I knew something was “different” about me but I never had the support around me to help me get answers. I walked around aimlessly and lived off of Google’s suggestions and explanations about how I was feeling for the most part. As an…

via Mental Illness and the Workplace — The Art of Mental Illness

A Reblog: PTSD Awareness Day — James Pack

June 27 is PTSD Awareness Day and June is National PTSD Awareness Month. There is a misconception that only service members in the Armed Forces can get PTSD. Anyone can have Post-Traumatic Stress. This can happen after any type of trauma such as being robbed or assaulted. It is not exclusive to military combat. People […]

via PTSD Awareness Day — James Pack

A Reblog: Hatred From An Unlikely Source – Internalized Homophobia — Overcoming OCD

Did you know that gay and bisexual man are 4 times more likely to commit suicide than the rest of the population? Or that LGBT+ are one and a half times more likely to develop depression and anxiety than heterosexuals? June is Pride Month and I think this is the perfect time to talk about […]

via Hatred From An Unlikely Source – Internalized Homophobia — Overcoming OCD

A Re-Blog: Psychiatric Medication Pitfalls — Blogger Community

I’ve spent much of my mental health posts discussing symptoms, treatments, breaking stigma, and ways to ask for or offer help. What I’ve been reluctant to address because there is so much stigma-and yes, many pitfalls- are psychiatric medications to treat conditions like bipolar disorder and depression. I am a firm believer in medication, when […]

via Psychiatric Medication Pitfalls — Blogger Community

Pride, Prejudice, Psychology!

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“Understand that sexuality is as wide as the sea. Understand that your morality is not law. Understand that we are you. Understand that if we decide to have sex whether safe, safer, or unsafe, it is our decision and you have no rights in our lovemaking.”
― Derek Jarman

Pierre Elliot Trudeau: {1967} ‘There’s no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation’

prej·u·dice
/ˈprejədəs/
noun
      1. 1.
        preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience.
        “English prejudice against foreigners”

 

I have been giving this post a lot of thought over the past several days.  I wanted the best quotes I could find about the subject. The first one is new to me, but, the second one is from the Senior Prime Minister Trudeau, which I learned about in high school.

I feel safe in saying that many of us have preconceived ideas about one thing or another.  Where did we learn these things, from our parents, peers, school, reading, or television.

Imagine if our preconceived idea of seeing a man and woman holding hands was repulsive.  Maybe denied insurance coverage for being a heterosexual being, or portrayed on tv shows as some type of freak.  Now, how would you feel? Some would hide the fact of their sexuality, pretend to be gay, or just outright be proud of being heterosexual.

Now how would your mental health be doing?  Over time not so good, thoughts of depression, inferiority feelings, to the point to where there is contemplation of suicide.

I believe I have described the life of a LGBTQ person over the past forty years. Here are some facts from Homewood Health

LGBTQ+ Mental Health Facts1:

  • Members of LGBTQ+ communities face higher rates of depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive and phobic disorders, suicidality, self-harm and substance use
  • Members of LGBTQ are twice as likely to experience childhood maltreatment, interpersonal; violence, and personal loss
  • The risk of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) within the LGBTQ+ community is double that of those that identify as heterosexual
  • Sexual minority individuals are two and a half times more likely to attempt suicide and are one and a half times more likely to have depression and anxiety than heterosexual peers
  • LGBTQ+ youth face approximately 14 times the risk of suicide and substance abuse as heterosexual peers
  • Some research suggests that abuse of alcohol, tobacco and other substances may be two to four times higher among those that identify as LGBTQ

So dear reader, when you are thinking some preconceived idea about a person, persons, gender, think about this post!

A Re-Blog: Who’d have Anxiety, panic attacks and psychotic depression? — Mental health 360°

Have you ever had anxiety, panic attacks, depression or psychosis? I don’t know which is worse; the anxiety, panic attacks, depression or the psychosis. But to have them altogether, spelt H.E.L.L. For those of you who don’t already know, I started writing about my journey some six months ago. I only ever intended to write…

via Who’d have Anxiety, panic attacks and psychotic depression? — Mental health 360°

Control?

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One of the major sources of stress, anxiety, and unhappiness comes from feeling as if your life is out of control.

— David Cottrell

In an news article found at: 1130 City News wrote about that the Canadian Mental Health Association is telling the feds that there could be an “echo pandemic” of mental illness.  The article gave a summary about the article, it listed three things.

SUMMARY:
  1. The CMHA is calling on the federal government for more funding to help people struggling with mental health issues
  2.  Association says feds need to help Canadians struggling now, before problem gets worse after COVID-19
  3.  If funding doesn’t come through, CMHA fears an ‘echo pandemic’ of mental health after the health crisis ends

I have paid attention to some interviews that the news has picked up from people who are keeping video diaries during this shutdown.  They all spoke about the anxiety they are feeling.

Some are expressing how they feel helpless because they cannot be with a family member or a friend during their dying hours.

It is a frightening thing to have feelings of not being in control.  Nerves become frayed, tempers flare, depression sets in, all manner of anxieties enters your life.  Physical and emotional abuse ticks up in calls to authorities.

Of what I understand here in Canada the government has already planned for four months of restrictions in place.  In America people are protesting the stay-at-home orders.

When I was living in Toronto that’s when things went spiraling out of control.  My doctor prescribed Prozac, which left me feeling numb.  I was a mess, living but not feeling.

When I first started having panic attacks I still can remember how I felt like everything was out of control.  This lead to my attempted suicide. 

I have no suggestions on how to handle the feeling of being out of control.  Circumstances widely vary from person to person, house to house.

So, all that I can do is brace for a long ride into fall!

A Re-blog: Anxiety Cure — No Stress

Anxiety Cure Summary: Psychological therapies are much more effective anxiety cure than medications. It is normal for people to experience anxiety from to time. It makes us cope from very stressful situations. But when anxiety becomes too much and turns into irrational fear of everyday circumstances, it becomes a debilitating anxiety disorder. Unlike short-lived, mild…

via Anxiety Cure — No Stress

Normal, What’s That?

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The problem of living is at bottom an economic one. And this alone is bad enough, even in a period of so-called “normalcy.” But living has been considerably complicated of late in various ways – by war, by questions of personal liberty, and by “menaces” of one kind or another. Votes: 3

Benton MacKaye

The latest catch phrase is “the new normal“.  Experts on news shows say we will never go back to “normal“.  For some that is frightening, for they need the old normal, structure, schedules, deadlines, etc., I have heard opinions about the reason why prisoners when released back into society and re-offend.  They offer the opinion that some of those are use to the structure of prison life.  They have no skills in coping in a fast paced society.

Now everyone has a different normal.  Mine has changed over the years, some for good, others for the frustration.  I have heard it said that people starting out in the workforce will probably change their career at least two times.

I am not sure what my normal will look like after this turbulent times.  Maybe, I am worrying for naught, I will see.

I realize for those who are bi-polar like me sometimes the unknown can cause anxiety.  In my past things unknown was trouble, I would get jumpy, irritable, almost angry to where I would want to lash out.  It was during these times when a relationship with someone would go up in flames.

So, I hope that when the “new normal” arrives it better come with a handbook!

A Re-blog: Social Anxiety Disorder Treatment — No Stress

Social Anxiety Disorder Treatment Summary: Social anxiety disorder treatment should have continuous and regular administrations to have an effectively result. Social anxiety is a psychological condition, which causes overwhelming fear of situations or events that require social interaction or performance in front of other people. The anxiety often activates physical symptoms such as blushing, rapid…

via Social Anxiety Disorder Treatment — No Stress

A Re Blog: What are the Top 5 Psychological Disorders? — Family and Individual Therapy

Psychological disorders are more common than most people would think. This is because there is a stigma when it comes to talking about mental health. If you asked most people what the top 5 psychological disorders are, they wouldn’t be able to tell you. Let’s take a look at what the most common psychological disorders are.

via What are the Top 5 Psychological Disorders? — Family and Individual Therapy

Re Blogged from: Anxiety Treatment – The Natural Remedy for Anxiety Relief — No Stress

Anxiety Treatment – The Natural Remedy for Anxiety Relief L-Theanine, naturally occurring in green tea, proves effective in dealing with anxiety symptoms and providing anxiety relief Anxiety is a state of intense fear, uncertainty, uneasiness, or apprehension due to anticipation of an imagined or real threatening future event. Anxiety can be both physically and psychologically…

via Anxiety Treatment – The Natural Remedy for Anxiety Relief — No Stress

Handling Christmas/Holiday Anxieties

person-holding-a-snowflake-3264658For this post I have put together some things I have done to avoid putting myself through Christmas Anxieties.

  1. Don’t try to impress people, just being myself.
  2. Don’t borrow money, i.e., taking money from rent or food money.
  3. Don’t wait till the last moment to buy gifts.  I bought gifts for my three grandchildren over several months.
  4. Avoid going shopping when it is at the peak of shopping rush.
  5. Forgo sending Christmas cards, phone calls are much more endearing.

Those are some things I put in place for several years now.  It keeps me from suffering extreme panic attacks.

Since the grandchildren are getting older I also forgo wrapping paper.  Instead use gift bags with some shredded paper.  They know the gifts are from me, not some made up character called “Santa Claus”.

Maybe you cannot initiate some of those things, but, I would encourage you to find ways that can save you those moments where you feel you are going to “lose it”.