One of the frustrations in dealing with panic attacks is that those around us can't even begin to imagine what we are going through. We know you are thinking "it's all in her mind", or "just think about something else". We have to remember that you all may never understand, but that we aren't alone due to the others out there that do share our experiences. If you haven't heard them already, please read some of the things we may go through during just one incident:
clear, intense panic
accelerated heart rate
shortness of breath
sensation of smothering
chest pain or discomfort
chills or hot flashes
feeling of choking
fear of dying
feeling you must escape
feelings of unreality
feeling detached from self
numbness or tingling sensations
fear of losing control, or going insane
nausea or abdominal distress
Some may feel several of these during one attack, or various ones on different days.
They can develop abruptly, and might peak in about 10 minutes, lasting anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes.
We know you can't possibly imagine something so huge happening for no apparent reason, but it does. That's a fact for countless people all over the world. It may be due to the stress of our day, or it may have been happening for centuries, but no one had put a name to it. Hang in there with us, and together we will get it all worked out. We need your support.