Your stomach drops. You feel the blood rush to your neck, forehead and limbs. They start to warm up. You feel light headed and it is as if you are falling towards the floor you will never hit. Your hands start to tremble. Your ears start to ring and your vision becomes blurry. The energy in your body leaves as if it is a spirit that was banished. Your breathing quickens and your breath becomes shallower. The world is ending and you are about to die.
Or not. Panic attacks affect those with anxiety disorders especially and can cause high levels of distress. This distress can happen at any time, while you are at work, relaxing with a book or out with your friends. A panic attack waits for nobody and will not spare anybody.
I have become amazingly good at hiding when a panic attack strikes. I feel the life leaving my body and I think every time that I am going to die.
Being unable to deal with a panic attack can be common, while some are able to distract their bodies by engaging in another activity. Despite this, the panic attack is not the end of everything. Panic attacks can be an irrational way of dealing with thoughts or far-fetched possibilities.
That is what makes it scary. We don’t know who might be suffering from a panic attack. Some show physical signs and some, like myself, don’t skip a beat. Since we don’t know who might be in pain, maybe we should take a step to consider whether someone might be in distress.
Some might require a hug, some might need words of encouragement and some might need a good dose of space and time. Be kind and be understanding. We can’t control panic attacks but we sure need some help when we are in distress.