According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, “A panic attack is the abrupt onset of intense fear or discomfort that reaches a peak within minutes and includes at least four of the following symptoms:

  • Palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Sensations of shortness of breath or smothering
  • Feelings of choking
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Nausea or abdominal distress
  • Feeling dizzy, unsteady, light-headed, or faint
  • Chills or heat sensations
  • Paresthesia (numbness or tingling sensations)
  • Derealization (feelings of unreality) or depersonalization (being detached from oneself) Listen to this podcast.
  • Fear of losing control or “going crazy”
  • Fear of dying”

This afternoon I had a panic attack and it came out of nowhere. I laid down for a nap and woke up abruptly. I was sweating, my entire body was shaking, my arms and hands were trembling, my heart was racing, I couldn’t catch my breath, I was nauseous like I was going to vomit and I felt like I was going crazy. Where did this come from? I wasn’t having a bad dream or day. I screamed for my husband and he found me rocking back and forth in bed, crying uncontrollably.

Before I took a nap, I was having a decent day. I woke up, ate a healthy breakfast, worked out for an hour, went to therapy and came home and took the dogs for a walk. It was a “normal” day. WHY DID THIS HAPPEN? I HATE panic attacks. I haven’t had one in awhile and I feel like I’m still coming down from it.

My heart literally felt like it was going to beat out of my chest and I couldn’t breathe. I personally think that is the worst feeling of having a panic attack. Its anxiety times one hundred. Now I’m terrified it is going to happen again. I can’t handle another one today. My husband is here with me, but there is nothing he can do to calm me down.

As soon as I was able to calm myself down enough, I tried to do a little deep breathing and meditation. It didn’t seem to work so I grabbed my car keys and left the house. I drove to the grocery store and walked around aimlessly for thirty minutes. I did this to get my mind off of whatever caused this. It helped.

Now I am back home and my anxiety is back. Im racking my brain to try and figure out what is causing this extreme anxiety. I checked my medication and I took the right meds and anxiety meds today. My IBS is terrible right now due to my anxiety. I feel like I’m on a rolleroaster that won’t stop.

Who else experiences panic attacks and what do you do to help get through them?

Image from The Anxiety and Depression Association of America



To my new followers, welcome to Smiling Through Tears. This blog is a daily account of my struggle with mental health disorders. To all of my returning followers, thank you for supporting me and following my journey.

3 Replies to “The Panic Attack from Hell”

  1. I do Liz. Too much to write in comments. I’ve dealt w Severe Panic Disorder for 20 years. The best advice I have is to not be afraid of it, or it will be much worse. When it first started, I was at ER 2-3 x/day, just so they could calm me down. Years later, the best thing is to do panic charts, part of behavioural therapy. Write ur fears and track them, making them all more rational. I could go on and on… Sorry you went through that. If anyone understands, it’s me. Happy to talk about it w you. It’s like a car engine revving but car stuck and so adrenaline builds way up and u have to spend it. I get it. xo

  2. I hate to tell you this but you have to accept and give in to panic and anxiety. Its the fear of the fear thats running the whole show. I never really got over it completely but I have learned a few things. If you run from it or try to fight it it only gets worse. A tough pill to swallow, and I’ve swallowed thousands. 🙂

    1. I have learned to accept them, but they still suck. They always catch me off guard at the worst times. It’s something I will have to live with for the rest of my life and I just have to take it day by day.

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