Symptoms of a Panic Attack
Fear of dying
Dizziness or lightheadedness
Flushes or chills
Tingling or numbness
Feelings of unreality
Fear of losing control or doing something embarrassing
Information courtesy of http://www.anxietypanic.com/
I suffer from extreme issues with anxiety. It's been an issue for me since junior high. It was drastically heightened in high school and the first couple years of college. This is a horrible, multi-faceted, disorder.
One of the most difficult things for me is triggering an attack by anticipating an attack. This happens often. I get nervous about entering a potentially stressful situation. I get paranoid, have a hot flash, and feel so uneasy I get nauseous. It's terrible. It makes me a recluse. I become shy and standoffish. I don't like me, like this.
I have suffered this as far back as I can remember. It's fluctuated from bad to worse and back to bad. I've had sleeplessness, hallucinations, and anything from zero appetite to binge eating. This has been difficult.
Why wasn't it diagnosed? Why have I suffered so long? Because no one else noticed, and I didn't have the good sense to bring it up. I remember my brother telling me a story about his childhood. As a child my brother had eye problems. He couldn't see the blackboard clearly. He just worked his way up to the front of the classroom and did the best he could. He suffered silently. After his near sightedness was discovered, everyone wanted to know why he never said anything about not being able to see. He thought everyone was dealing with the same problem. They were making it work, so he just had to figure out how to make it work too. That was me. I felt like everyone must have some depression, anxiety, and insecurities. Everyone must have panic and anxiety attacks. Everyone must be managing it better than I do. Not so.
I still struggle with this. I find that my appearance is a trigger. I suffer if I don't look as well as the crowd. A part my attacks is the fact that I DO care A LOT about what other people think of me, what I do, and how I do it. I have to focus on my appearance. I probably have an unhealthy obsession with it. When it comes to my style, my appearance, I want a good fit, an appropriate look, and some obvious comfort. This helps me. If I can be confident about my shell it takes some of the edge off. It's one less thing to worry/panic about. Then it comes down to my organization, preparedness, and using learned methods to avoid or work through an attack. This is ongoing. I'm not the only one, but because everyone doesn't deal with this I have to give it real attention.
If you're a victim, do what you need to do to manage this. Take your power back from panic or anxiety attacks. It's a struggle, but possible.