Recently I found myself on the receiving end of bouts of anxiety and panic attacks. I guess these have been a long time coming since I always tend to over worry about the minutest thing on earth. I guess it didn’t help that my husband was involved in a life threatening accident at work, though thank Allah that he is doing alright now.
Having observed people close to me having bouts of panic attacks didn’t prepare me for what really happens when it attacks you with its full force. I guess experts would say that what happened to me was little compared to what people who suffer round the clock attacks go through.
Anyhow, when it first happened, I wasn’t even aware that it was a panic attack that I was going through. A heat wave that generated from my tummy came upwards, made me sort of dizzy that made me reach out for the nearest person around me. Thinking that I was a bit low on sugar, my sis made me drink a bit of orange juice and that was it. I didn’t even think about it much, but maybe, according to the cardiologist that I saw these thoughts must have been in my subconscious even after wards.
So the next one which came in its full force caught me by surprise. I was browsing through diamond rings at a shopping mall when this overwhelming urge to just flee from everything came about. It may have been the over bright lights around, or the fact that I just wasn’t feeling my usual self. I just sort of threw the ring I was looking at, at the salesgirl (she must have thought what a bitch huh!) and I just forced myself to walk out in a hurried pace. Even then, I didn’t feel quite alright. The ride back home was the worst, since at that time, it was Deewali, and loud crashes, booms and bangs were going on everywhere. It just felt like everything around me didn’t matter and that I was not going to be around for much longer. And believe me, it was pretty scary.
Anyhow, one trip to the emergency room confirmed it wasn’t an asthma attack, and finally the physician I saw contributed what I had towards panic and anxiety. Even then, I wasn’t completely satisfied until I had seen every type of doctor I could see regarding my condition. Although some doctors weren’t really helpful, there were those who have put my fears to rest – at least for now.
Reading through material on the Internet has helped as well. Drinking water, whenever I feel such nervousness take root has helped a LOT in this case. Prayer and meditation has also helped on a large scale in keeping those attacks at bay. Although even now, sometimes I feel that these attacks might catch me unawares at any moment, I have learnt one thing – There are certain things in life that you don’t have any control over, So STOP worrying about them, cos then in the end it is you who suffer because you can’t enjoy those little things in life when you are worrying around the clock. And the advice that not to avoid thoughts that cause me fear, but rather think those thoughts through, and rationalize those fears have helped me on a huge scale to take each step without fear of impending doom.