Panic Attacks

I have a lot of phobias.  Arachnophobia, claustrophobia, and acrophobia are a few of my more common fears.  One of my less common and more debilitating fears is social phobia.  Anytime I have to socialize with someone, I get extremely bad anxiety.  In rare cases the anxiety gets to the point where I end up having a panic attack.

The first time I had a panic attack was one of the scariest moments of my life.  It was my second semester of college.  I was struggling with really bad anxiety that day.  My heart was pounding, hands were shaking, and it was a struggle to breathe.  In one of my classes, I tried to cross my legs but I couldn’t.  My left leg was completely numb.  I couldn’t feel it and therefore couldn’t lift it.

This obviously made me go into a panicked state.  I had to leave class early.  I simply gathered up my things and limped out of there.  I was able to feel the pressure of my left leg hitting the ground and I could feel my left hip so that was enough for me to be able to walk.  By the time I got to my car, I couldn’t feel my hands and I was incredibly light-headed.  I went straight to urgent care.

The doctor there took my vitals and said that they couldn’t find any problems with the tools they had.  They recommended I go to the ER.  I called my mom and I was hysterical.  I had no idea what was wrong with me.  I could have been having a stroke for all I knew! She picked me up and drove me to the emergency room. As soon as I was in the presence of my mom, my anxiety slowly went away.  I could feel my leg and hands again.  I almost felt completely normal except for being exhausted.

We arrived at the ER and I told them everything that happened and that I was feeling completely fine at the moment.  They ran some more tests and eventually came to three conclusions: 1. I had a panic attack, 2. I was suffering from a silent migraine, or 3. I have multiple sclerosis.  Based on my history with anxiety, I assumed (and prayed) that it was the first option.  But I was too embarrassed to admit that I went to the Emergency Room because of a panic attack so I said it was probably option 2.  Later, however, it became clear to me that it was in fact a panic attack.

Ever since that first panic attack, I have been getting more.  Sometimes I would have a couple in one week, and other times I would go months without having any.  The summer of 2016 was when I had the most frequent panic attacks.  It probably had to do with the fact that I was hanging out with a group of people a couple days a week and I was crushing hard over one of the guys in the group.

Presently, I am doing great!  I might get an attack once every couple of months, but they don’t last long and I am very good with dealing with them.  I am on medication to help me get my anxiety under control and it is working great.  I am on the lowest dose so I still have anxiety, but I’m learning how to live with it and tame it and hopefully I won’t need to rely on medicine anymore.

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  1. October 13, 2017 / 4:38 pm

    I can imagine just how terrifying this experience was for you. I was actually diagnosed with MS 16 years ago because I lost vision in my left eye. My vision is back now, but I do have a lot of other things I go through. I hope you are feeling better. I also really understand anxiety as it is hard to deal with!! I do look forward to reading more of your posts. I started my blog almost 3 months ago and it has been so helpful. I really hope you find it helpful as well. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you!!! Take care!!

    • October 13, 2017 / 4:43 pm

      Thank you for your kind words, Alyssa! You are so sweet and just made my day! I will be praying for you and I hope you can fight off your MS symptoms as long as possible! My mother’s next door neighbor has MS so I have seen first hand how it changes your life. Please reach out if you need anything! 🙂

      • October 13, 2017 / 4:49 pm

        Thank you so much for your kind words! I am glad that I was able to make your day, that makes me SO happy to be able to help someone!!!! MS is definitely life changing but it just takes some adjusting which I have been able to do, for the most part! I still get discouraged but try to think positive, it could be worse! Seriously, you can reach out to me anytime if I can do anything for you. You can make a comment or email me directly! My email address is alyssabowman81@gmail.com
        I hope you have a great day!!!!!!

  2. October 13, 2017 / 4:40 pm

    I’m glad you’re feeling better and that the anxiety meds help. I have had panic attacks too and know they are horrible!

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