Posted by beardedlady on April 21, 2002, at 5:32:42
In reply to Re: What Happens To You During A Panic Attack? » IsoM, posted by camden on April 21, 2002, at 0:03:02
I got a sleep disorder one night. Yup, it happened one night, and it never went away. So every night before bed, I'd begin having panic attacks--the same thing you described, only I was awake. My legs would shake so violently it looked like I was freezing.
I had what my doctor called "anticipatory anxiety," which is fancy for worrying about getting a panic attack.
I have them rarely now, but I have gotten one while driving to the doctor (drove to the ER instead). My heart rate was 120, though my resting rate is usually between 50 and 60. I got a note from the doctor who treated me about Panic Disorder, which was my diagnosis. I felt so completely ashamed. (However, I'd also had an asthma attack triggered by some chemicals the day before, and that can often precede a panic attack, as the shallow breathing resembles one.)
Anyway, it's a strange thing. I often wonder if there's a food you can eat to calm you down. I tried, but found nothing! (And the best thing about trying is that, when you're in a panic, your metabolism is really high. It's a great time to pig out on forbidden foods!) To calm yourself, though, baths usually help. They are warm and relaxing. I have done this in the middle of the night when I have awakened with a panic attack, and I was usually able to get back to sleep afterward.
The best thing about panic is that it is essentially harmless. You are NOT having a heart attack, this is no dangerous than jogging (actually, it's easy to lose weight when you're anxious), and it will go away. So just try to remember that, and you can often calm yourself down.
The worst thing? Having a real heart attack. I have had the panics a bunch of times since, and sometimes I swear they are really heart attacks. (It's harder on women, since the symptoms are so much different from men's symptoms.)
Good luck. But remember they are harmless, and they usually go away.
beardy : )>