TWE NO. 35 // Panic Attacks
If you ever faced a panic attack, you know how frightening it is...or better to say how frightening it can be if you don't know how to deal with it. Unfortunately panic attacks have been part most of my life. I remember it started when I was a little kid whenever I was at a crowded place like the city center. Of course at that time I had no idea what is going on, I just remember that it was very scary. Then for a few years it was alright, until I was diagnosed with Graves' Disease and then a few years later with Hashimoto's. Needless to say that with thyroid/hormonal disorders & being an autoimmune warrior you are very prone to experience something like panic attacks.
Panic attacks are scary and I don't want to give them so much power over my life anymore. All they do in the end is forcing my to calm down; to focus on breathing, to rest, to get lots of sleep and to consume lots of calories. Once I do that, things usually get better very quickly thankfully.
In the past few years I went through a fair share of panic attacks once again. Not all the time but whenever I am stressed out and don't take super good care of myself, then they are back and force me to slow down and to take good care of my physical and emotional wellbeing again.
It can also be extrinsic factors like feeling stuck in a miserable job, relationship or just a very uncomfortable situation in general which led to panic attacks on a frequent basis. As much as I hate dealing with panic attacks, now I see it as my individual alarm system that is triggered whenever things are outta whack. Once I feel panic attacks coming back, I have to reflect what has gone wrong and where I have to make changes right away in order to calm down and to feel 'normal' again.
I think everything that helps you to breath in and out and to make sure you get enough oxygen helps once a panic attack starts. In the past I used to faint a lot and whenever I feel a dizzy then the anxiety to faint comes up and then the panic starts. It is a horrible vicious cycle. I get scared of feeling dizzy, I get scared that I might faint and then I get afraid of my own anxiety and then the panic mode kicks in. This is the worst, this is what we want to avoid. I want to start with meditation from now on because I am certain this helps me to find a better way of breathing and once I get more oxygen into my system, I won't feel dizzy so quickly and then this vicious cycle also won't start.
Currently I am trying to figure out more about the why behind panic attacks. Once you better understand what is going on with you, it is much easier to find strategies that help to cope with them. So this is my mission right now, I don't even know why I have not done this before yet.
I have heard of so many people suffering from panic attacks and no one ever really talks about it openly in our society. But I think it is important to talk about it so you see you are not the only one suffering from it and to create a better understanding for dealing with mental illness in general.
Disclaimer, I am no physician and this is no medical advice, I only speak about my experiences here. If you need any professional help please seek out to find a physical and or a counsellor.