Having panic and anxiety disorder is like being kept in a prison. Anxiety without panic is where a person may get nervous in certain situations, anxiety with panic is where the person becomes nervous, but also begins to feel an intense sense of fear.
The fear is crippling. The fear is so intense at times that you feel as though you are literally dying. I personally deal with this disorder and know firsthand the ways it disrupts one’s life. When you begin to experience panic attacks you begin to fear the attacks themselves and slowly start to avoid places they occurred, or people that witnessed them due to embarrassment.
My condition has gotten so severe to the point I avoid public places. This is where the prison comes in. I stay home around the clock, which causes me to miss out my children’s school events, ball games, and simple trips to the zoo or park.
I miss out because I know I have had these attacks outside my home many times, and it is my way of avoiding another one. In some ways, this makes no sense considering I have them at home, too. I suppose that people not being able to see these actions eases the stress due to the fear of being judged. When, in fact, nearly everyone in this world experiences anxiety, but not everyone realizes it or allows it to control them. In a way, it is like an addiction. Think about it. If you are addicted to a drug, it consumes your very being. You thrive on the next fix or the high feeling you get from the drug. Well, staying home due to the panic attacks is similar to this, but not illegal. One creates habits just as a drug addict does. The habits with panic can be secluding yourself from others, using panic as an excuse not to accept responsibility, relying on others for everything that causes you to fear, and depending on loved ones to bare your load. I am not saying these things are on purpose. What I am saying is it becomes a cycle and it is easier to leave it be than to face your fears or force yourself to overcome them. I will say this to anyone facing these conditions that there is hope. There is a way out.
I will also say this. It took you a while to get to this point and it will take you a while to get out of it. You have to start with baby steps and repeat those steps needed until you prove to yourself that there is nothing to fear and that you are okay. I am still battling this condition, but I know without a doubt, one can get through it because I have once before—for about four years, but then I allowed it to creep back in on me, and then I allowed it to control me. Notice I say "allowed." We are not someone else. Only we are responsible for our thoughts, our feelings, and our actions. No one can force you to think a certain way, no one can force you to feel a certain way, and no one can make you do the things you do. Indeed, they can create those feelings and thoughts, but it's up to you to store them or disregard them. You do not have to suffer… you have a choice.
For those who suspect that they are experiencing a panic attack, some of the symptoms I feel are as follows: Heart rate increase, upset stomach, chest pain, irritable bowels, dizziness, lightheadedness, shakes, sweating, chest pain, dry mouth, the feeling of something being stuck in the throat, the feeling of intense unexplainable fear, and the feeling of dying. If you or anyone you know may have these feelings, please contact your doctor or someone like myself. You do not have to go through it alone.
About the Author
Joseline Burns is a teacher and writer at an educational centre with over nine years of experience in the educational field. She has been writing and editing content for one of the best essay writing companies while also leading her own travel blog for five years. She is a big fan of Marvel movies, politics, science, and psychology. Her main goal: To help people with self-development, and to teach them to look at the situation from different sides.