Mental Health: My post-therapy panic attack

Today has been a very bad day. Regular readers will know I’m currently having an intensive series of therapy sessions to deal with my anxiety and depression. My session today did not go well.

My therapist has identified that I have a very critical inner voice who tells me what I am worthless, that I am nothing, that I am ugly and that I am unlovable. (To clarify, I’m not “hearing voices”, it is my inner dialogue, something we all have, the little person inside us who narrates our life). I believe all the awful, bullying things this voice is saying to me. It tells me the truth that others are too afraid to say, or says the things people are thinking before they say it to my face. In short, I am horrid.

Today therapy was rough. The therapy session itself went well. We explored a few things, noted I was making some progress in some areas, chatted about this voice who says hateful things. I left feeling ok. Then somewhere on the way home I started crying, then I started having a panic attack. My mind ran at 300mph, I couldn’t do anything to help myself or stop myself. I was in the middle of the street 15 minutes from home and I couldn’t breathe. My eyes were streaming with tears and my nose was running, I must’ve looked an absolute sight.

I stood swaying on the pavement, not knowing what to do or where to turn, I glanced up and a blue car was driving up the road, without thinking I stepped towards the road and into its path. I just wanted it all to stop and the only thing I could think of was the peace of death. At the last second I stepped back off the pavement and clung to a lamppost. I have no idea how I got home.

By the time I got home from therapy I had calmed down a bit. The panic was going, but that was replaced with tears. I sobbed bitterly, painfully for two hours. A couple of friends chatted to me online and helped me calm down. Today has shaken me, really shaken me, I’ve not felt this bad in 18 months. I’m frightened that I’m going to slide back down that snake again after spending so long climbing the ladders. What I want to do is curl up and sleep and cry. What I have to do is work and look after my family.

It’s been so long since my last panic attack, it’s scary how they completely take over you and how they leave you feeling drained and worthless. This afternoon my friend reminded me to breathe, how stupid is it to have to be told to breathe? She was right though. Breathe. Keep breathing.

Mental Health: My post therapy panic attack

Read more of my mental health posts here.

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.


I love my son, he is beautiful. He is excellent company and charming and funny. He is everything I love about me and my husband rolled into one, precious, much lovelier parcel. He is my world.

He is poorly, nothing serious, he’s 2 and there’s a plague of Croup going round nursery, he’s got a nasty, barking cough but he’s fine in himself and bouncing round the place, full of beans and twice as messy.

Normally this wouldn’t be a problem. Normally I’d handle it, distract him, cuddle him, play with him but I’m selfish. I’m going through a period of anxiety and I’m bound up in myself, in my head, I can’t shake the feeling of doom and panic. The loss of control and the fear of spiralling, spiralling like I did a few weeks ago.

So as he bounced off the sofa, tipping toys everywhere, I sat cold, unfeeling, lost in my head and the dark, confidence ripping thoughts negatively running on a loop through my mind. Selfish. Selfish bloody woman.

He turned to me and saw the tears streaming down my numb face. He gazed for a moment and my heart broke as he said “What’s up Mamma?”. He climbed onto my knee and cuddled me, held me tight, my poorly baby comforting me. Selfish. Selfish bloody woman.

“What’s up Mamma?” His face full of concern.

I replied “Mamma doesn’t love herself as much as she loves you.”

There you have it, a lifetime of therapy and an endless prescription couldn’t have fathomed it out any quicker than a toddler with a cough.

I hate myself, my actions, my lack of control, my need for validation from other people. I hate the way I look, the way I sound, how I think, the things that I think. That I’m weak, that others take advantage of that. I hate that I’m like this, I hate that I’m in the grip of it. Because when I’m not I’m a great person, loving, funny, caring, wise. I wish I knew how to stop it, I wish I knew how to love myself. I wish I knew how to stop being a selfish, selfish bloody woman.