I managed to crystallize how it feels when I have and episode.
It's like a switch is thrown in my nervous system. I can tell when it starts and when it goes away. When it's on, there is a heightened feeling of alarm and hyper-vigilance. It is steady, it doesn't come and go. Physically, my skin feels hot. I feel tense, my teeth are clenched. There's a free-floating fear and worry with no apparent source or cause. This one started yesterday on the train home and kept up through my workout. I was able to sleep some, but it came back with a vengeance this morning. It's like it waits for me. This one has been relatively low grade. I've been much worse. But it's been persistent, this is going on about 22 hours.
Anyone relate? I don't know anyone else who gets like this.
I know it is assuring to find somebody who has the same symptoms, but it rarely happens that anything is exactly the same. The best idea on this is to just accept it as your "special" way of exhibiting anxiety/stress. It is really probably better not to even come to the forums and ask about it.
You are doing a fine job of working on your thoughts, which you can control. It is your symptoms that you can't control, because they come from the unconscious. Work on your thoughts the way you are doing -- fulfilling your responsibilities, having some fun and doing everyday things-- and you will just find that you are better.
Feelings aren't facts, and while panic whips up fear, fear is a feeling. If there are any facts looming that you think might be causing some conscious fear, try to resolve it or change your frame of reference on it. You have to just keep going through the panic, which you are doing.