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I Have Panic Attacks For No Reason
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I Have Panic Attacks for No Reason

The world we live in today leaves much to be desired when targeting stress. Our fight or flight senses have changed from panicking over something that is truly a reason to panic, such as a ferocious beast wanting to make us their lunch to panicking because of a deadline or traffic. Our society has put so much importance on things, which truly aren’t that important, that we now get frustrated over the simplest problems. Stress is a part of everyone’s life now and will continue to be deeply seeded in our bones forever. Due to this rise of stress, panic disorder has gone viral.

How it started

My first encounter with panic attacks started back in high school. It was 4th period, math class, and I was doing my work in the silent room crunching numbers and going about my business. All of a sudden, one of my classmates dropped a pencil and the ringing started in my ears, my heart began to race, I felt nauseous and the room started to spin. I quickly jolted and grabbed onto the corners of my desk to keep myself from falling and tried my hardest to keep down whatever was about to come from my throat. What just happened? I didn’t understand but I soon found out this was going to be a problem.

I went home and told my mother of the incident and she accused me of being a hypochondriac. Though I did not believe I was, I shut my trap and went about my normal routine the next day. I went into class again with a clear mind and had dismissed what happened the previous day as a fluke. As I continued to get to my work as usual, it happened again. However, there was no reason for it. No one had made any sudden movements, no noise, nothing! That horrible feeling of helplessness began to haunt me every day at that same time frame. Due to the hate I had for this panic attack I began avoiding this class at all costs. During my senior year, I had missed over 86 days and in combination with coming in late and leaving early I had done that another 100 days. I began coming into school after 4th period and leaving before. On Wednesdays I just wouldn’t show up to school at all. I barely graduated by the skin of my teeth due to my absences.

Depression worsened my condition

After my senior year and graduating, barely, I was on my own to face the world. I had no desire for college because of these overwhelming feelings of fear I kept having in enclosed spaces, such as a classroom. About 3 months into summer, August to be exact, my boyfriend at the time of 2 years decided this wasn’t working out anymore. I couldn’t understand what I had done wrong, he hadn’t given me a reason. I moved back in with my mother and became deeply depressed. I lost all my friends and couldn’t find a job. I began spending all of my time in World of Warcraft and socializing with my friends on the game. After half a year of living in my mother’s basement, a friend from the game decided he would come all the way from California to Ohio and live with me. At first there was romantic interest, but we soon learned we were better off friends. Once he had truly seen how horrible things were in Ohio he offered me to come to Tennessee and help get our lives together. I jumped on the opportunity because I knew I was getting no help where I was.

He bought the plane tickets and I told my mother I needed a ride to the airport. She fought me not to go but I told her, “I need to do this”. The next day we went outside to get in the car and begin the 2 hour drive to the airport. As soon as I stepped outside, the sun blinded me, I had not been outside in what felt like an eternity. I got inside the car and she began to drive 2 minutes down the road to the gas station to fill up. Before we got off of our street, I began to feel extremely ill. I looked at my mother and said, “Take me back home please! I don’t feel good something is wrong!” She rolled her eyes and reminded me that this was my decision and I was going whether I wanted to or not. I was 19 years old at the time of this and I spent the next 2 hours of the drive crying and screaming that I did not want to go.

When we arrived at the airport, she made me leave the car and left me. Wiping tears from my eyes and trying to fight the shaking I had, I walked in the airport. The next 3 hours while waiting for my flight were spent vomiting in the girl’s restroom. The world was spinning and I was having the worst panic attack of my life. The sickness never stopped. I couldn’t stand in line long enough to get my boarding pass without running to the restroom. My friend was no help either while he played on his laptop. We than had a layover in Washington DC and I continued to defile that bathroom for another 2 hours. It wasn’t until we finally landed in Tennessee that I was so exhausted I couldn’t bare to think anymore.

I lived in Bath Springs, Tennessee for about 3 months and continued to get worse with my sickness and panic. I finally called my Aunt in Texas just to talk. Her husband and her decided to come pick me up and bring me to Texas to help me get over my problems. They didn’t realize how horrible this had affected me until we got to a gas station and I refused to leave the car as I began crying and shaking again.

Treatment

I eventually got back to normal after 3 years in Texas. This was done through baby steps and fear of disappointing the two people who risked everything to help me get better. It started with getting the mail every day and just that. The task of walking out the door and getting the mail was so frightening to me because I worried that a neighbor might see me and try to say hello. I found that maintaining contact with my friends on World of Warcraft helped to keep me somewhat social. I eventually began to reach a sense of normality. Unfortunately, I still to this day deal with panic attacks and have talked to a doctor about medicine and I find that medicine just puts me to sleep.

Once diagnosed, this disorder changes your life. I personally have never been the same since and never will be. I continue to fight these panic attacks every day. That being said, with the right attitude and baby steps, it is possible to work your way back into society.


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