Mental Health: What does a Panic Attack feel like?

I’m having a panic attack, I’m not sure why. Today has been a pretty good day, got lots done, sorted lots of stuff out for work and at home. It was a bit stressful in parts but nothing I couldn’t handle.

An hour ago I went to bed, hunkered down and closed my eyes, maybe I thought a little about my day as I tried to drift off, but then a nightmare I remember having last year flashed through my head and every time I close my eyes I can see it. So I can’t close my eyes and now I’m having a panic attack.

Mental Health: What does a Panic Attack feel like?

I’m lying in bed, twitching and trembling, scratching away at my skin until it’s raw again. My chest is tight, tightening, getting tighter and I can’t catch a breath. I grab the iPad by my bed to distract me, it works for a bit and I calm down a fraction, I close my eyes and the nightmare flashes through my head again, this time with images of the bodies of people I love contorted in death.

That’s a clue, a hint as to part of what’s going on, it’s too horrible and personal to openly discuss on my blog, but I’m part of a community in mourning, of mothers fearing for the futures of their children.

I’m jittery, scared to close my eyes, scared to sleep, I can’t get the nightmare out of my head, nor the images. I’m lying here in bed writing this, my hands are shaking as I tap the keys, my breathing shallow andrapid, I want to get out of here but I can’t, I want to walk and walk and walk until it either all makes sense or I’m exhausted and I need to sleep. This is what happens when panic attacks.

Fight or flight, fight or flight. I’d choose flight but I have to stay and fight. I don’t feel like there’s anything that’ll calm me down right now. I could go walking for miles but I can’t do that, I can’t leave the house. So I’ll stay and write, write it all out of my head. I’ll try not to close my eyes, try not to think, overthink, just find peace. Fight of flight? Can’t do either so I’ll write.

Mental Health: What does a Panic Attack feel like?

Read more of my mental health posts here.