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What Do Your Panic Attacks Look Like?

Discussion in 'Anxiety, Panic & Hypervigilance' started by elvis, Jan 30, 2007.

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  1. elvis

    elvis Active Member

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    i am wondering if panic attacks look different for different people? i think i have developed a way to maintain an appearance of functioning when i have them, if that is what they are. i am just wondering if there is criteria, b/c maybe i just have a major internal freak out and it's not a panic attack. i don't know. today three different people said "you get this far away glossed over look in your eyes", and they said it really out of the blue. and i wonder what this is? it is usually when i am really panicky inside or really fearful. and it doesn't mean i am in a dangerous situation, but sometimes i can feel like i am when i am around good people...it has the opposite effect that you would think it would have...good people=safety and love...RIGHT. for me good people=panic, fear, confusion, doubt, cynicism, depression, want to leave but want to stay. but i don't know what NORMAL IS ANY-F-ING MORE. i have lived like this for SO LONG, that how do i BEGIN to identify things like TRIGGERS. i have heard some describe their panic attacks as really loud and painful. mine are not loud, *if that's what they are* i am very skeptical about this and very confused as you can tell. i feel like a psycho.
     
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  3. permban0077

    permban0077 Policy Enforcement Banned

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    I am thinking you are wanting to know the typical symptoms? Sorry if I am missing it, rough day...

    But here is a quote that sums up the symptoms pretty well. Though they put it so nicely that it does not sound as severe as what happens. If mine get going really well, I cannot speak right, think, walk, running into wall tripping, and vomit too. Mine vary a great deal. And I think I have had every symptom listed and some not.

    [DLMURL="http://psychcentral.com/disorders/sx27.htm"]
    [/DLMURL]
     
  4. Andre

    Andre Active Member

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    Elvis, it seems more and more that the way your symptoms are expressed is really very similar to the way my own have been. I did not know of the freezing and detachment as a panic attack and for many years thought it was something from my other injuries. It has recently been explained to me how it is from anxiety after all and that it is actually a panic attack, just with different and less common kinds of symptoms. I am sorry if this is too soon, but is there a better name to use than Elvis or is that what you prefer?
     
  5. permban0077

    permban0077 Policy Enforcement Banned

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    Panic attacks can come in fight or flight, and as I learned here, freeze. Adrenaline to give the boost and send fight ot flight response, or noradernaline to freeze... Is that what you are talking about Andre?
     
  6. Andre

    Andre Active Member

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    I can not remember enough of the biology I have had to comment on the chemical interactions. I meant your comments before in the other thread I made about sleep in the private PTSD section. Also I read that same Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) with PTSD post by Anthony in the pain management section. With my initial thoughts on this it does seem to have been the freeze response that is the failsafe of the fight or flight response that seems to cause that kind of thing for me. There was nothing to do in my accident. Too much damage done to respond either way.
     
  7. Terry

    Terry Well-Known Member

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    For me, a panic attack dosn't look like much to anybody else. Work has conditioned "fight or flight". Inside I feel like I'm gonna take off like a rocket. Tig says I take a deep breath.
     
  8. catatonicky

    catatonicky Member

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    panic attacks

    i dont know what mine look like but i sure know what they feel like; for me a panic attack is like suddenly reality gets really fast and confusing, like flipping through a million tv channels really fast, i cant breath, i hyperventilate, my eyes set down on things and fly away again before i can focus, i feel this desperate fear and HAVE TO GET OUT OF THERE FAST, run away, make it stop, feel my blood pounding through my skin, tense up entire body and clench teeth, want to fly out the window..... if i catch them quick enough and take some Diazepam and focus on breathing sometimes i can head them off but if im angsting about something they can get so bad they go on for an hour or so and climax in some sorry deed; i have to find some form of physical escape. I'm there, intensely, but i dont want to be there. I either try and get "out of there", "out of it", or hurt myself.

    Dissociation, though, is different for me, thats when i get the glazed look, i can be doing something and forget it while im doing it, its like im not really there at all, i say things i dont remember, do stuff i forget. At its worst i had huge memory gaps, and would stumble across something i'd written that i wouldnt even remember. Thats when i'm not really there at all. i dont know where i go then, but thats dissociation for me not an attack. Its a state i can easily slip into.
     
  9. elvis

    elvis Active Member

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    yes. i understand all of these replies. what i am beginning to wonder is if i have learned how to manage mine and only a few things slip out. somewhere i remember hearing that it's like you are hyperventilating and wigging out, i keep mine silent i suppose, although i am not sure. i will write more later. i haven't checked out the symptoms link yet, but you can call me jen. i randomly chose elvis based on what was on tv. i have a dry sense of humor, sort of a defense mechanism that i have learned over the years i suppose.
     
  10. elvis

    elvis Active Member

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    okay. yes. maybe that is what they are. i think i have learned to live like this for so long, how do you start to recognize things like this? i worry that the people around me will think i am making a big deal of something. i have a hard time showing emotion and usually have a smile on my face etc, how do i begin to let someone into this relaity??? how do i begin to let MYSELF into this reality? i mean, have you learned to function right through it? it is almost more frightening as i am beginning to see this. very confused. and scared.
     
  11. Josh77

    Josh77 Active Member

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    elvis,
    Like you, when i have a panic attack, i look much the same as i usually do. Most of the time that is... But inside i am totally freaking out and panicked!!
    I feel like another traumatic event is about to happen, and eventually i become grounded and realize that i'm not in any real danger at the moment. I'm also on meds to help me w/ my panic attacks, but i try not to take them until after my trip to the city. That way, when i get through that event without my tranquilizers, i feel that much safer the next time i have to go back into the city where i was attacked. That's JUST what works FOR ME, though. I'm not a therapist or anything, so i suggest you talk to a therapist about your panic symptoms and see what he/she says.

    Josh
     
  12. elvis

    elvis Active Member

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    NO THERAPISTS FOR ME. i am open to insight from y'alls personal experiences though.:eek:ccasion:
     
  13. permban0077

    permban0077 Policy Enforcement Banned

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    You have to take your attack and realize it is a part of you. Understand what is happening to you during such a thing. Some can be mild some off the charts. But just keep in mind your body is reacting to a fear. Panic eases over time and with healing. You have to understand your panic can get out of hand with fear of fear.

    You go somewhere that you have had an attack, you fear it so it will come. Fearing the attack always send out an invite. You have to understand they will not harm you and not everyone is all that concerned. We are way too self aware. I learned I can usually have mine with out others noticing now. They are normally mild and short lived. The ones I cannot hide are those occasional mother loads that I am staggering, room is spinning, and I puke my guts up. It is like drinking way to much when you don't have a drop... One thing I never got. Why is it I can drink a drink or take something that would make another person high and it makes me "sober" feeling?? Hell, people pay good money to feel like I do half the time LOL. I have to pay to not!

    But it takes a lot of practice to get where you can just shake it and blow it off. If you can't, sit and DO NOT dwell on the symptoms, try closing your eyes and think something good. Or for me I learned the entire body chemistry at work. What exactly was happening where to cause every sensation. I would think about each nerve reacting with what to make me feel that way and wonder how strange this action causes numbness, how this one make my eyes look black, no wonder I am so shaky all the glucose dumped and adrenaline, I could probably out run a car... Find humor it helps. Leave yourself options. You are not a failure if you have to walk outside. Allow things like that. Long as you know you have the option you no longer feel trapped. So take your scariest situations and notice when and where you attacks occur, who you are with, what you were listen to or watching... Things like that so you can narrow it down and figure out why this evokes that fear response in you.
     
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