I hope this post finds you one of your good days and if not, please accept a virtual hug.
This post came to mind fairly recently, after noting that in the many, many articles I have read about panic attacks, the consensus is that during one of these events a person may feel these things:
Chest tightness or pain
Wanting to avoid places or people
Phobic avoidance (Constantly finding yourself avoiding particular situations)
Agoraphobia (A fear of open spaces)
Nausea, Lightheadedness and sweating
Of course, just because they are all listed like this, it doesn’t mean that a person will experience all of these things at the same time; and lets be honest, one of these things is bad enough. The thing is, these symptoms are very common in people who suffer from these horrible attacks, and it is good to be aware of them.
However, the point of my post is that sometimes a panic attack simply does not present with a single one of these symptoms at all. In fact, you may have experienced something different, without ever considering that it could be a panic attack. I was one of these people. I could describe what I experience as a ‘quiet’ panic attack.
For example, when I descend into an attack, the main symptom I experience is racing thoughts. When I say racing consider it this way; my usual state of mind is busy. I jump from thought to thought, subject to subject, constantly in my daily life, this is my normal state. However when I’m ‘panicking’ the speed of these thoughts ramp up to a point where I can’t hold a thought in my head for long enough to acknowledge it. It’s just a maelstrom of words and images that I can’t pin down. The thing is, while this is all going on within my head, physically I look the same as ever. It’s a cruel thing, because I could be experiencing this while surrounded by friends and they would never know. I just have to ride it out until everything slows down again.
I think the main point to make here is that whatever symptoms you may experience, whether they are listed on websites or not is that you know when you are in a state of panic. Nobody else has your brain, and if your panic is loud or quiet, it is still panic and needs to be addressed. You may feel better if you talk about it, or you may instead prefer to watch something nice (Bob’s Burgers is my favourite) or just have a biscuit with your brew. Whatever it is you need, it’s all good, just to bring you down from the maelstrom.
Anyway that’s all from me for now,