The Panic Attack Experience

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  1. JenPsych profile image70
    JenPsychposted 13 years ago

    What is your most distressing symptom during a panic attack?

    1. profile image0
      Brenda Durhamposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      The overwhelming sense of imminent death.
      I've only had a few panic attacks in my lifetime, but they're very distressing.   From what I've seen and heard, panic attacks are actually quite common among people.  But some people deal with them on a frequent basis, and I really feel for them.

      1. JenPsych profile image70
        JenPsychposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        I appreciate your perspective. I find it somewhat frustrating that most panic attack explanations focus on the physical symptoms, while I would describe the psychological elements (derealization, impending doom, pseudo-insanity) as the true trademark sensations. The rapid heart beat and adrenaline responses only seem to validate the emotional state.

    2. PhoenixV profile image64
      PhoenixVposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      I think the most debilitating aspect of panic attacks are fear. Fear is just an emotion that can be recognized, rationalized and controlled.

      1. JenPsych profile image70
        JenPsychposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        True, and this is an irrational fear. It is much more difficult to rationalize a conflict between logical cognition (i.e., there is nothing to be afraid of) and a strong physiological response when there is a complete absence of a trigger.

    3. smcopywrite profile image59
      smcopywriteposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      losing consciousness. i suffered from panic attacks and this was dangerous. there were times when i was by myself in an unfamiliar place and passed out.
      i suffered injuries when i passed out. cuts, scrapes, bumps and bruises. one day on the bus stop-almost fell into the street but a stranger helped me. this was definitely me at my worst.

      1. JenPsych profile image70
        JenPsychposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Wow, my sincere sympathies. That takes the fight-or-flight to a whole new, less controllable level. If it is any comfort, I would absolutely help a stranger who fainted and required assistance and compassion.

  2. knolyourself profile image61
    knolyourselfposted 13 years ago

    Met a woman yesterday in the checkout line.
    She has no kidneys. Has to get dialysis every other day. Could be the happiest person I have ever met. Pure love of life
    and a Christian of course. She credits God for her continuing existence but not her doctor. Praise the doctor. Anyway great person and thought it might be of interest in terms of psychology. She must know what a panic attack is.

    1. JenPsych profile image70
      JenPsychposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      She sounds truly amazing. What strength. I would be interested to know how she interprets panic attacks, although I believe her experience would be different than mainstream panic attacks simply because she has a logical reason to feel panicked. Thank you for this story.

  3. stclairjack profile image77
    stclairjackposted 13 years ago

    strangely enough,.... self loathing and anger over my own inadequacies,... i dont likea man to yell at me ina loud voice, in a bullying like manner,.. it makes me angry and paralizd all at once.
    i also dot like the sounds that people make while in terror,.. has the same effect on me.
    i know why it effects e that way, and in the last few years i've begun to develope the tools to deal with it.
    i've reached a point now that the flight or praralized responce has been replaced by bsolute rage, and that worries me more.
    took my first 16 years to get this way, took till i was 36 to figure it out, it'll take a while to work it out.

    1. JenPsych profile image70
      JenPsychposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      It sounds as if you have clear triggers for your panic attacks (loud, unpleasant noises), which in turn causes negative emotions about yourself. My sympathies. I sincerely hope that you have the resources and support to find peace.

      1. stclairjack profile image77
        stclairjackposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        i'm not even sure what i deal with would even be considered a panick attack, maybe/maybe not.

        my best deffence is a strong sense of logic and reason,... but in some instances,.. i just have to remove myself from the situation to avoid doing or saying something wildly inapropriate.

        i work in a nursing home and we have a couple different residents that take to screaming some days, you cant medicate it, they just do it,... you can give 'em enough meds to knock out an elephant and they'll still be screaming an hour later,.. its bearable until one of them says a particular word combination or phrase repeatedly,.... in that high pitched terified feminine voice,..... i just clock out and go home.

        i'm very lucky to be in a dpt head position and i can do that,... i just blame my RA and i go to the bar and play pool for 2-6 hours.

        i think my little old folks have the panick attacks,... and i feal for them because the things they claim to see as they scream are very real to them, and the alzhiemers has robbed them of the logic and reason that defends me,..... i just have a hang up.

  4. camlo profile image80
    camloposted 13 years ago

    I used to work in a busy restaurant and had a colleague who was prone to panic attacks - especially when it got very busy. She'd have to go to a quiet corner at the back where she'd hyperventilate.
    I can't say as I felt much sympathy for her - under those circumstances.

    1. Joy56 profile image66
      Joy56posted 13 years agoin reply to this

      her panic attacks seemed to be very convenient......

      doubled your work, probably

  5. Joy56 profile image66
    Joy56posted 13 years ago

    even talking about panick attacks almost brings one, they are fierce.

    1. camlo profile image80
      camloposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      I don't think I've ever had one.

      Have there always been such a thing as panic attacks? I can't remember people having them years ago, and now it seems as though every second or third person has them on a regular basis.

      1. JenPsych profile image70
        JenPsychposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        I agree.  But I wonder if it is more prevalent to have an anxiety attack (overwhelmed and panicked for a logical reason) versus a panic attack (unpredictable, neurological episode), and people confuse the two. I would think clinical panic attacks would be less common.

  6. knolyourself profile image61
    knolyourselfposted 13 years ago

    Tony Soprano had them from HBO's 'The The Sopranos'.


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