Today, I had my very first panic attack.
I got into my class and ate some honey roasted peanuts washed down with delicious ginger ale and patiently waited for my teacher to arrive. When he did, I was sitting down listening to my teacher talk about organizational communications when all of a sudden, my throat felt like it was going to close up on me. I tried to ignore the feeling but then, I thought “What if I’m allergic to the peanuts I ate before class and this is a symptom of my allergic reaction?”
A wave of heat floated throughout my entire body and I instantly knew something was wrong. I felt like I was going to faint or die, I didn’t feel like I was really in class but in a different place where no one could see that something bad was happening to me. My heart began to race extremely fast and I shot my hand up in an attempt to get my professor’s attention…it didn’t work. I focused on deep breaths and told myself I was going to be okay. I tried to listen to my teacher’s voice and focus on the words coming from his mouth when suddenly, the feeling came back. You know how you would be scared if a man with a gun walked up to you and said he was going to kill you? Well, I was THAT afraid but no one was holding a gun to my head, my body was simply telling me I had to get out or I was going to die. I tried to ignore the feeling for as long as I could but the attacks kept coming back. By the third attack, I threw all of my things into my backpack and ran out of the classroom and into the bathroom right outside.
I cried. I cried because I had no idea what was happening to me. I cried because I thought I was going to die. I cried because there was no one around to help me.
I left the building and called my mom and told her all of my symptoms. She told me to go to the Student Health Center and stayed with me on the phone while I walked there. When I was just a few feet from the building, I felt the symptoms starting again and started to run to the health center. By the time I reached the lady at the front desk, I could barely breathe. My hands were shaking, and I told her, “Something is wrong. I am having a panic attack or an allergic reaction. I need help”
Within minutes the nurses and doctors came rushing to my aid. I was wheeled to a room, laid down on a comfy chair and told to simply relax. After thirty minutes, I was still having the panic attacks so they gave me this pill that’s like Valium and the symptoms died down.
You guys, I have never felt or experienced something like this. And the fact that I had one means I have a higher risk of having another panic attack. I decided I’m going to go to counseling since panic attacks are disorders of anxiety. I don’t know what I’m anxious about or what’s bothering me, but I am not going to let another disorder rule my life.
Does anyone else have panic attacks? Any tips?