What I Think and Feel Before, During and After My Panic Attack

Panic attacks can be terrifying to say the least. They seem to tug every ounce of strength right out of you. They’re ruthless. Scary. Confusing. Exhausting. But most of all, they take the “you” out of you. They attack you from the inside out.

Panic attacks are something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. They’re one of the worst things I’ve ever had to experience. Although they are different for everyone, this is what panic attacks are like for me:

Rapid heartbeat. Will I make it? I’m dying. Sweaty palms. Headaches. Shaking. Shaking. Shaking. Will I make it? I’m dying. Numbness makes its way through my body, along with the adrenaline pumping so hard I think my heart might beat right out of my chest.

Shaking. Trembling. Pulse skyrockets. Heart races. Will it actually beat out of my chest? Breathe, breathe, breathe. Sweaty palms. Dizziness. Lightheaded. I can’t do this. I can’t get through this.

This is it. Shaking. Heart beating so rapidly I can’t catch my breath. Hyperventilating. Oh God, I can’t breathe. This is never going to end. Breathe, breathe, breathe. Why can’t I just calm down? This is irrational. Everyone hates me. I hate me. I can’t handle this. I can’t do anything right. The world feels like it’s crashing in on me. I can’t see straight. Can’t feel my hands. My legs are giving out. Am I dying?

This is a cycle repeats, again and again.

These are all the things I think and feel before, during and after my panic attacks. They are debilitating and draining. Panic attacks are not anything to joke about — they’re a serious condition. Please do not tell me to “get over it” or “just breathe,” because I promise: If I could, I would in a heartbeat.

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