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Author Topic: Does anyone else find it impossible to tell anyone how they feel when panicking?  (Read 515 times)

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Offline flowersblair

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This is my hardest thing to deal with. My attacks begin with lightheadedness overwhelming me, my arm going numb, feeling weak, unsteady, shaky, hot. When it occurs around people, I find it impossible to verbalise how I feel. I just want to scream that I need help but of course I don't. I want to say "I think I'm gonna faint" but I don't. Of course, nothing happens. Am I alone in this? All I know is I feel scared and awful and don't know what kind of help to ask for.

I had a bad attack in the optometrist shop & started asking for water. I was shaking my legs (I was seated) and its the closest I've come to "losing it" in public. I was crying "I don't know what's happening to me" and a lady gave me chocolate (thinking it was sugar related) and said the colour came back to my face but I was still shaky for hours after it though the worst feelings were over. That's another question: is it normal to feel shaky an have recurring sensations of panic after the attack?
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Offline Gailmarie

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Yes its normal! And the good thing is that people want to help but really don't know what to do. If you think of it in terms of fight or flight then your body is preparing for danger so all the blood runs from your brain to your muscles to help you make your getaway. No wonder you can't think straight or speak clearly. I had a really bad panic in the supermarket recently. People were trying to be kind but all I could say was "I'm having a panic attack" (This is progress for me - I used to just 'scream' or say 'help' or 'I want to go home') I used to carry around a card with me ( that I made up myself) that said something like 'I'm having a panic attack - please don't worry - a glass of water would help - I need to get to a safe place' something like that. I don't carry it anymore because I don't have them that often and I tend to know myself better and know what to do, but it might be an idea to think about.
As for feeling shaky afterwards - again that is very normal. Physically your body has had a surge of adrenalin run through it and been through a big shock (as far as your body is concerned you have been preparing to fight a big bear - physically what is happening in your body is the same). Then the is the psychological stuff we put ourselves through after a panic attack - about how? why? and generally berating ourselves.
After a panic you must be kind and gentle with yourself - rest - take time out - do something you enjoy - sleep if you need to - It can take a couple of days - if not longer to completely recover. Good luck.
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Gail Marie :-)

Offline Lunatone

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panic is exhausting to the extreme. it burns more calories than most work outs. just from normal use your brain uses 1/5 - 1/4 of the total average calories you take in. When you panic, that number shoots up.

The main reason you can't really get an idea of where you feel bad, is because the thing that causes it is pretty much everywhere. the nerves become over-stimulated and less precise information gets to you. If you've noticed the nausea/choking/heart fear, its because your vagus nerve runs from your brain down your esophagus through your heart and onto your stomach.
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Offline zipername123

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Yeah that's normal. If i ever have a panic attack in front of other people I usually just attempt to get out of the area without attracting attention... It's not always possible,but it's usually the best I can do. If I can't leave then the people around me try to help(usually friends or family). Usually when they try helping it makes it worse. Hearing things like "you need to calm down" or "don't worry about it" or even a simile "are you ok?" can, and usually do, make my panic attacks worse. I can tell when i'm about to have a panic attack but i can never describe what it feels like..

I always feel shakey just before, during, and after the panic attack. if i ever notice i'm shaking i will usually have a panic attack soon. When it starts to get out of control, Shaking is one of the first symptoms of anxiety i get. I guess it's nice to have that warning, to get out of the area or away from what's causing the stress(if you know what it is, that is. Half the time i have no idea why i'm having a panic attack..). I still hate it, though. Once i start shaking, it's obvious to everyone that something is wrong.

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Offline Calamy

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Yes, I have had trouble explaining the sensations so that others can understand. I tend to ramble and try to explain what I'm feeling in hundreds of ways til the person is like, "take a breath!" I never feel like I am giving a clear picture of what is happening.
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"Fear is such a vicious thing; it wraps me up in chains." - Tears for Fears, "The Working Hour"

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