11 thoughts on “Letter to a First-Time Panic Attack Sufferer

  • December 20, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    Wow Summer, it is apparent from your writing that you have in-depth insight and wisdom on such a scary experience. I haven’t had a panic attack personally, but have family and friends that have. Thank you for sharing your wisdom, as a means of ensuring others that they can cope and live their lives fully with panic attacks or disorder.

    Reply
    • December 20, 2011 at 2:09 pm

      Thanks Matt. That means a lot. Even though I still have a hell of a time dealing with my own panic attacks, I feel a little more at peace with myself knowing that I might save someone else from unnecessary worry and suffering. I appreciate your comment!

      Reply
  • December 24, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    Thanks for this Summer. I just had one for the first time this morning and it was quite the humdinger. Shakes, sweating, heart pounding, it really put a damper on my day. I sped to the hospital and they calmed me down.

    Reply
  • February 4, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    You are giving some very sound advice. It’s so important not to dwell on a panic attack as it will only lead to a downward spiral. Helping your friend through the aftermath was very noble and I suspect very rewarding at the same time!

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  • March 7, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    I love the advice to not look too deeply at it, and not avoid the triggers. Early on in my “journey” I read way too much about panic attacks and ended up with no caffeine, no sugar, absolutely MUST get 8 hours sleep at night, absolutely don’t allow my breathing to get too shallow…. You can’t live your life that way! I’m still on the road, but now I am better about acknowledging that panic attacks will probably happen no matter what problems I solve. And that’s okay; I can survive them. They won’t kill me, institutionalize me, or make me homeless.

    Reply
    • March 7, 2012 at 8:44 pm

      Yeah, I took some strict approaches myself when I first started having panic attacks! I quit all caffeine and all sugar. But before long, I was just afraid of caffeine and sugar — they’d escalated as threats in my mind. Moderation is key. Also, I love your attitude. 🙂 You WILL survive them.

      Reply
  • August 14, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    I just had my first panic attack last night…..it was hell but thank G-d its over. Im still nervous about the future if it will happen etc but after reading your post, Summer it helped me calm down a little….knowing that all will be okay and im not going crazy…..so thank you!

    Reply
  • October 7, 2015 at 9:51 pm

    so well written and encouraging! had my first panic attack earlier today. I was in a bus, and suddenly I had a headache and couldn’t breathe. The bus went under what seemed like an endless tunnel. This article is very helpful.

    Reply
  • April 21, 2018 at 11:11 pm

    i think i just had my first one. I was- am shaking and crying and i feel like someone is trying to kill me when I know they aren’t. im trying to calm down i had to turn on the lights because i was shaking so hard oh my

    Reply
  • July 25, 2018 at 5:43 am

    I just had my first panic attack a couple of weeks ago. Ever since I’ve been struggling and finding it too easily to fall back into a panic the second I think about my anxiety. I’ve been super worried because I’ve been feeling especially weak and have been feeling sensations of numbness in my left hand, arm and weakness in my feet/legs. It feels like my whole body is ready to shut-down.
    Maybe I’m just so fatigued from all the worry?
    Has anyone else felt this way after their panic attacks?

    Reply
  • December 31, 2018 at 7:42 pm

    I’m in tears. Thank you! THANK YOU!!!

    I was always proud of having such a healthy mind and no irrational reactions and problems at all. Recently, I had a traumatic experience where I fainted due to intense physical pain. Since I was under the influence of cannabis, my pain was amplified and so was my reaction to that pain. I thought I was dying. I passed out with my eyes open and my wife thought I was dead. This event traumatized me so much that I had a series of health issues that were suddenly accompanied by anxiety attacks, something I thought was impossible, something completely new to me.

    Since then, I had sudden flashbacks and anxiety attacks whenever I was in a heated discussion or felt in any way that I had trouble breathing for completely normal reasons. I am sitting here reading about the reason, trying to find out if I’m developing a mental disorder.

    I have just found your article. Reading through every point you made, I understood exactly what you mean, took breaths of relief, and acknowledged that I can indeed handle this.

    I am just in tears because of the relief your article gave me. I feel so happy. I feel stronger. I know, I can do this. I just want to thank you! Thank you so much! Thank you, with all my heart! Thank you!

    I will move on and I will be happy again. Thank you, a million times!

    Reply
 

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