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If you are reading this and having a panic attack just know its going to be okay. Your mind triggered the fight or flight within your body. Your body is completely capable of handling what is going on internally and you will get through this. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. Slow your heart rate.
I am a 27 year old guy and had my first panic attack at 25 (the majority of people who experience panic attacks are around mid twenties). I have not had a panic attack in about 6 months and without a forum such as this one i would not have been able to starting fixing the burden this put on my life.
To anyone that has never experienced a panic attack i can only somewhat equate it to a time i tried a hot sauce that on the hot scale it was hell in the summer. After i tried a droplet it just got hotter and hotter and it just kept getting worse, water doesnt help your heart starts racing and you think you are going to pass out. Hot sauce may make you pass out but LUCKILY you cannot pass out from a panic attack.
The scariest part of the panic attack was the elevated heart rate and the thought i was going to pass out. However, there in lies the solution to the dilemna of passing out. What causes your body to pass out is from a sudden and rapid drop in heart rate which is not going to happen when you are in panic attack fight or flight mode (for some reason i found assurance in learning that). Even to go a step further and say it DOES happen and you pass out. That is your body rebooting like a computer because something malfunctioned and once you woke up the panic attack would be over and you would be back to normal.
I just want whoever is reading this to know you can beat it, you can get passed this and you will. There is speed bumps in the road of life just get over them, keep driving and I gurantee you will come out a better person. I did and i truly think panic attacks saved my life. I am not looking to make this about me but I will tell my story in hopes it might help one person see the light at the end of the tunnel.
I was a big partier. Drinking and some drugs every weekend I really enjoyed it at the time but my mind and body didnt. Im agnostic but i do believe this happened for some reason even if it is in my deepest subconcious that the route i was going wasnt the path that was meant for me.
The first panic attack ever was after a big weekend of binging. Kid Rock friday night in Virginia we ended up at a strip club in West Virginia after then I woke up in MD and ended up in Annapolis the next night and back home drinking Sunday. Eventually Sunday midday i passed out. When i woke up that night a weird feeling came over me. I was really hot and clammy and bad visceral sensations took over my body. As my heart began to race i went to my room mate and told him somethings wrong i have to go to the hospital. My blood pressure was through the roof the nurses said it was from caffeine overdose from vodka and red bull bombs, dehydration and alcohol abuse... no sweat ill take a 2 week break my buddies weddings coming up ill start again then.
I went to the wedding got smashed it was awesome i woke up everythings fine we smoked a little pot and went to the cracker barrel restaurant where i had two cups of coffee and smoked a ciggarette (caffeine and nicotine is a big no no if you dont want panic) before the food came and my second panic attack that came with it. That eventually led to having panic attacks at every restaurant i stepped foot in. We were an hour away from home i drove my manual car and was the only one who knew how to drive a stick shift. We had to figure all of that out while I am thinking my mind is going crazy. Needless to say we figured it out and by the time i got home i still felt like sh*t but the panic had subsided.
This just continued and got worse and the two worst triggers were restaurants and the big one was the day after drinking. It took me a while to accept this realization but if drinking is the trigger the best solution is to cut it out of your life and find other fulfilling things to participate in. It was the toughest thing ive ever done but its so great once you do and i will still have a few here and there but there is just more to living then getting smashed.
I went to the hospital 4 times because of panic attacks (without health insurance) and could have gone countless more times. The hospital began to be the only place i considered a true safe haven. I received EKGs blood work heart monitors everything... all normal. It was all normal because even though the panic attacks were getting harsher and more frequent it is simply a chemical imbalance in your brain that doesnt truly effect your health and dont let it.
I hate medication but eventually a friend of mine recommended a psychiatrist and it had gotten so bad i was willing to do anything. If you need medication then you need it and without it i am not sure how long it would have continued.
I was prescribed zoloft and xanax. The zoloft worked and i have been panic attack free for some time now and am weaning myself off it now and believe i can continue without the aid of the drugs. The Dr. did warn me in the first month of taking zoloft your panic will get worse before it gets better and it certainly did get worse which was tough but it eventually kicked in and it ended.
I just want to tell anyone you can get through this. Put on some yoga music and get some fresh air. Breathe and focus on getting your hear rate under control. You will get through this i promise just be strong.
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