Going Through A Panic Attack

Panic is trying to win...

Panic Attack Symptoms

Signs of a Panic Attack

  • Shortness of breath or hyperventilation
  • Heart palpitations or a racing heart
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Choking feeling
  • Feeling unreal or detached from your surroundings
  • Sweating
  • Nausea or upset stomach
  • Feeling dizzy, light-headed, or faint
  • Numbness or tingling sensations
  • Hot or cold flashes
  • Fear of dying, losing control, or going crazy

Panic Attack

Right now I am having a panic attack. My heart is racing and my chest feels as if an elephant - or some larger creature - is sitting on my chest. My hands are trembling. My thoughts are racing. I feel as if the end of the world - or something worse - is imminent. I know that some evil will befall me...but I don't know what.

At the moment, I am alone at home. My husband is visiting family in another part of the state, my children are all now living on their own...only the dog is home with me. This feeling - this panic - is trying to take over this moment in my life. I am not going to let it win. I am stronger than this panic...I can beat this feeling...

But as the time continues to pass this panic - this weight on my chest - this confusion in my head - is trying to win - it seems, at least for this moment, to be winning.... will it stop?

My heart is still racing - I feel as if I need to run from this unknown terror that will defeat me. I am not running - I am staying to fight this panic - this irrational fear - I will beat it...

Thoughts are racing as fast as my heartbeat...I am taking long, slow breaths as I am trying to make this go away...Writing seems to help...it seems to be slowing down the thoughts, the heartbeat...

The elephant is no longer an elephant...maybe a small dog...now even just a gentle touch...

The panic will not win this time...it is going into hiding...I have won...this time....this moment...

This moment is now my own....

The panic attack has gone away. The writing helped...

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Comments 35 comments

2besure profile image

2besure 5 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

I began to have panic attacks after my mother died. They are terrifying, and they always happened when I was in the street or the subway. As suddenly as the started they stopped and I am so glad they did. Thanks for shedding like on the condition.


Moon Daisy profile image

Moon Daisy 5 years ago from London

Great hub. I was feeling it with you. I too have began to have panic attacks recently, and they are very scary. It's very helpful for me to see that I'm not alone, and I like your attitude to beating it.

Thumbs up and useful.


justateacher profile image

justateacher 5 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... Author

2besure and daisy - these panic attacks have been happening for awhile now...they have been going on so long that I do not remembered what the trigger was....but I did find that it helped to know others had them too and just thought I would try to write while one was happening...this was the result

Thanks for your comments!


Moon Daisy profile image

Moon Daisy 5 years ago from London

And what a great idea. Once it's finished you forget exactly what happened. I find I tend to trivialise it too; "it wasn't that bad" etc..


tammyfrost profile image

tammyfrost 5 years ago from Oregon

I thought I was having one this morning.


Lesleysherwood 5 years ago

This is a brilliant article. Thank you


justateacher profile image

justateacher 5 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... Author

Thank you all for your comments! Feeling better now!


maryanglin 5 years ago

No one has ever described them like that. I have had them for years. that was me, thanks


justateacher profile image

justateacher 5 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... Author

I was writing as it was happening...it was helping it to go away...hope yours get better!


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 5 years ago from West Virginia

Sorry to hear you have these. At least writing is a great natural way to calm it down. For myself, a cool shower helps. Most of mine are because my blood pressure, so that may be something that you need to check. It is all about letting go, moving the thinking process ahead so to say. Cool air also. Very well written and being that it is true, maybe a new solution to a life long question. Voted up. Take care.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

Oh, man. I started having these a year and a half ago at work, and it escalated to high blood pressure. I think all related to work and the horrible stress there. I hope to one day have the time to get in better shape, get out of the stressful job, and let go of the meds. Who knows if that can happen?

Great hub. A lot of people don't experience what panic attacks are when they show up. But they're really real and really scary. Thanks for this hub!


justateacher profile image

justateacher 5 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... Author

These attacks started happening with me within the last couple of years for me. There was a lot going on in my life and not much of it good, The first time it happened I thought I might be having a heart attack or something similar. I wrote this piece as I was going through it and it seemed to help lessen the effects...

And yes...they are very scary!


Enlydia Listener profile image

Enlydia Listener 4 years ago from trailer in the country

I have mini-ones...but I did have a really bad one once...it happened at work...I was unable to function due to the tunnel vision it caused.


catgypsy profile image

catgypsy 4 years ago from the South

Been there so many times...I've had a panic disorder since childhood. One thing that helped me was reading a book that advocates accepting the panic instead of fighting it. For anyone interested, it's called "The Power of Acceptance" by Judith Bemis. Believe me, I've read a lot of books on the subject!

It's a terrifying thing and lots of people don't understand them since they've never experienced it. Good luck with yours.


justateacher profile image

justateacher 4 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... Author

I'll have to find that book...mine have been getting worse lately!


catgypsy profile image

catgypsy 4 years ago from the South

I hope it helps you. Panic attacks are absolutely horrifying. Hang in there.


justateacher profile image

justateacher 4 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... Author

Catgypsy-panic attacks have been coming more often...gonna see my doc about it...thank you for your kind words! about


catgypsy profile image

catgypsy 4 years ago from the South

I'm glad you are going to a doctor. Don't be afraid of the medications available, they can really help. I take two different ones and wish I had known about them a long time ago!

Good luck.


justateacher profile image

justateacher 4 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... Author

Just went to the doctor...she prescribed two medications...hopefully they work!


catgypsy profile image

catgypsy 4 years ago from the South

That's great! I know that personally I need the medications and have never had any bad side effects from them, so good luck with them. I truly know what you're going through...hang in there, it will get better.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

I was prescribed a low dose of Zanax (or Xanax). It made all the difference in the world. When I felt a panic attack coming on, I put it under my tongue, and it took effect fast. I got a prescription for about 30 pills almost a year ago and have only used about 4 of them. I think that knowing I had something to help if I needed it eased my mind. When having a panic attack, knowing there is no recourse but to survive it--that's scary! I haven't had an attack in many months now. Maybe it was leaving my job that helped cure me! :-)


Gail Meyers profile image

Gail Meyers 4 years ago from United States

I feel for you if you have panic attacks! They are awful. I had severe panic attacks for more than 10 years, but I have not had one for about six years now. I do take methylcobalamin, the neurologically active form of B12.


justateacher profile image

justateacher 4 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... Author

Victoria...I am now on xanax and buspar...both have worked wonders...I was also seeing a therapist to deal with some issues and that also helped..I still have the attacks but not as often...


justateacher profile image

justateacher 4 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... Author

Gail...the attacks are awful!! But I'm now on medication that helps a lot...thanks for reading!


lanablackmoor profile image

lanablackmoor 3 years ago from New England

That's a perfect description. Glad you found a medication that helps! I had them quite frequently before I went on mine.


justateacher profile image

justateacher 3 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... Author

Ianablackmoor -thanks for reading and commenting! Medication is a lifesaver!


collegedad profile image

collegedad 3 years ago from The Upper Peninsula

The Dr's don't know if my Syncope causes my panic attacks or if my panic attacks cause my syncope. For me the panic attacks were almost debilitating. Fortunately Lexapro has reduced both conditions dramatically. Very good description of very scary situation. Thanks for sharing!


stephanieb27 profile image

stephanieb27 3 years ago from United States

I am so sorry you are having these panic attacks!!! I have experienced a panic attack once (when I was pregnant with my youngest, went to the doctor and the doctor told me we needed to take the baby early) and I hope to never experience one again!! I later told my mom how I felt and she told me I had a panic attack. Glad to hear that the medication is making things better for you!!!!


justateacher profile image

justateacher 3 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... Author

Collegedad and Stephanie...thanks for reading!


beingwell profile image

beingwell 3 years ago from Bangkok

Voted up, justateacher. Good thing that you've calmed down during this time. It seems writing really helps. At least, you know now how to remedy this situation if it comes again.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

Hi, I just had to read this as I totally understand what you are going through, I get terrible panic attacks, I know when mine started but it just doesn't help, I have learned the counting method, you count as fast as you can over and over again, and I do another type of mantra too, sometimes it helps, but other times I feel like I am going to pass out, nell


justateacher profile image

justateacher 3 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... Author

Nell..thanks for reading! I learned a new counting method from my therapist..I'll post it another day...


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

i hope this was two years ago.. and things are much better now Justateacher.. bless you Frank


RonElFran profile image

RonElFran 2 years ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

I never before had any idea what a panic attack was like. Just from the name, I would have thought it was entirely in a person's mind. But your description of the physical manifestations is powerful and enlightening. Thank you.


justateacher profile image

justateacher 2 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... Author

Frank....this was written two years ago...but the attacks continue, not as bad...I finally have medication that helps...but they still happen...thanks for reading!

Ron...most people don't realize how physical panic attacks can be...if you don't have have anxiety you can't know how bad it can be....thanks for reading!

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