Anxiety has no boundaries. It doesn’t care if you’re a child, a teenager, or an adult. It doesn’t care if you’re a man or a woman, what religion you are, where you live, or how much money you have. The terrifying symptoms can show up at any place, at any time.
Here are the best ways I can describe what a panic attack feels like…
*You’re on a roller coaster. Speeding down a steep drop, the plunge takes your breath away. Your adrenaline kicks in, and your stomach jumps into your throat. You feel dizzy, nauseous, and your heart pounds so fast it feels like it might jump out of your chest.
*You’re in a haunted house and a scary monster jumps out at you. You’re terrified. You scream, your heart races, and you want to run away. You want to GET OUT!
*You dream you’re falling off a curb, then catch yourself quickly.
*A tidal wave is washing over you. You can’t breathe and feel completely helpless.
*You’re trapped inside a burning building, with no escape.
*You have tunnel vision, feel tingly, and frozen. You wonder if you’re having a stroke or going blind. *You’ve just ran up and down the basketball court a hundred times. You’re sweaty, light headed, and your heart is thumping. You can’t catch your breath.
*Your legs are like cooked spaghetti noodles, and can’t hold you up.
*You’re having an out of body experience. It’s like you’re floating, disoriented, and wonder if you are really you.
*You’re going crazy, or maybe going to die.
*You’re alone. Even if you’re in a room with three hundred other people, you feel like you’re the only one who feels this way — scared and ANXIOUS.
First image courtesy of BuzzFeed. http://www.buzzfeed.com/robynwilder/panic-attack-experience#.tb277v7wX
Second image courtesy of New York New York Las Vegas Hotel & Casino. http://www.newyorknewyork.com/attractions/the-roller-coaster.aspx
Third image courtesy of KidHelpPhone.ca. http://www.kidshelpphone.ca/Teens/InfoBooth/Emotional-Health/Anxiety/Panic-disorder.aspx