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What Does A Panic Attack Feel Like?

panic attackI am in the midst of the beginning of a panic attack. I think it is the residual stress from an 8 hour drive through the Great Smoky Mountains and beyond in thunderstorms and downpours. I don’t do well with in-climate weather driving, especially alone.

So, physically I am shaking, especially my hands (making this harder to type). I keep touching my face, as though to soothe myself. There, just did it again. I keep taking deep breaths, hoping that by bringing extra oxygen to my blood, and thus unhealthy brain, I will feel better.

What can I do at a time like this? What do I usually do? I call someone. Usually that is my mom, but I saw and spoke with her today and don’t want to burden her further so then what? Phone a friend, right? I reached out to 5 people (maybe more, I can’t think right right now) and none of them picked up the phone. It’s okay. It doesn’t make me mad at them. Just makes me feel sad and paranoid – like maybe I am “too much” to deal with. Or maybe they have forgotten about me. Or maybe I did or wrote or said something to upset them. My mind plays these tricks when I am freaking out. I start to believe no one likes me or could like me or love me.

I am spiraling now.

It gets harder to breathe. I can feel my heart racing. Wiping my face again. Feeling utterly and totally alone.

I know rationally it is because I have been away from home for a few days (returned this evening) and away from routine. I know it has to do with a drive during which I could have easily died. I know my sleep schedule was manipulated.


At times like this, I like to remind others going through similar emotions that they have been through it before and didn’t die and the probability is in their favor that they won’t die this time. I will take my own advice. I will simply tell myself that people are busy, that is isn’t me they are avoiding, and that everything will be okay

Shit. Fuck. Damn.

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What Does A Panic Attack Feel Like?

Elaina J. Martin

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APA Reference
Martin, E. (2016). What Does A Panic Attack Feel Like?. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 6, 2019, from


Last updated: 6 Jul 2016
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