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Panic Attack (May trigger? I'm not sure)


SongBird
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I had a panic attack yesterday. I've never had one before. It scared me more than half to death, and I was wondering if anyone had any advice. Whole story below.

It was a later in the evening, and I was with my good friend Ayden. I was dozing on his shoulder, and we were laying on the floor of my living room. No one else was in the house at the time. He had one arm wrapped around me, and his other hand was covering mine, which was resting on his chest. We're both pretty tired, and half asleep. All of a sudden, I open my eyes and stare at his hand, suddenly convinced he was going to hit me. I've never EVER been abused, and he is the most laid-back, easy-going, sweetheart in existance.

But I digress.

I can't move, suddenly. All I can do is stare at his hand, suddenly tense, screaming mentally for him to notice. And eventually he does, looking down at me and asking what's wrong. I say something about him hiding his hand, and he does, but by then it's too little, too late. I start trembling, badly. He reaches out for me, totally surprised, and I jerk away extremely quickly, utterly terrified. And then I black out.

I have very little memory of what happened for the next ten minutes after that, just that I couldn't breathe well and that I was utterly terrified. Ayden, recognizing what's going on (his sister has panic attacks a lot), has managed to orient himself, and I 'come to' because of his gentle, calm words telling me I am safe, at home, with him. And that I need to breathe, which I try to do, with a middling degree of sucess. After a bit, he reaches out and tucks my hair away from my face, and I find his touch comforting. But then my mother (outside throughout this) called my name, and I found it so utterly disgusting that I lost it again, burying my face in Ayden's shoulder and shaking badly.

I cannot speak. I cannot cry. I can only scream out for help in my mind.

Finally, finally, I feel well enough to sit up--and end up curled up on the floor, a blanket over my head, begging Rune (my Muse/'imagionary friend' (long story)) to help me. He promises to come quickly, and I compose myself enough to walk outside and feign delight at the dessert my mother has prepared, trying hard not to break down again. I'm still shaky today, and apperently that's normal. But I'm still scared. Yesterday feels like a horrifing nightmare--but could it happen again?

Thanks for your time,

~Song

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SongBird,

Is there any chance that you were experiencing a flashback?

Certainly, what you experienced was more intense than my panic attacks, but mine tend to be mild. Is there an option to try anti-anxiety medications, for a while?

Is any of this tied into your relationship with your mother? The response to her calling for you was interesting.

But I'm glad that you had a good friend with you, to help you through it. Even if he inadvertently set it off, in the first place.

I do hope you get a chance to talk about this, with somebody professional. Your mind went somewhere, in that half-awake state, that scared you.

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I'm fairly certian it was not a flashback--I have absolutely no memory of anyone even posing a threat to me, much less actually hurting me. I live in a secure town, close-knit family, and honestly cannot think of a way a flashback is possible.

I would prefer not to go on medications--I have am strongly adverse to them, actually. I don't want to take anything that would mess with my mind, even if it was for a good reason.

In all honesty, I am not sure if it was tied in with my mother or not. I think my reaction was so violent because Ayden was a guy--something about that absolutely terrified me. My reaction when my name was called was specifially toward my name--I suddenly found it disgustingly foregin. When Ayden used it earlier, calming me, I was still replused by it, but not as much so as when it was yelled out.

And I am extemely glad Ayden was there as well--otherwise, I would have had no idea what was going on, and probably would have taken a much longer time to calm myself.

I'm planning on seeing a professional at some point, but I am cautious to do so because of one panic attack. I've done a little reasearch, and I know that it is not uncommon to have one or two in your lifetime. Should it happen again, then I will begin to look in earnest.

Thank you,

~Song

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My first panic attack scared the ... carp out of me. I had resumed therapy, and you'd think that would reduce the anxiety. I was alone, and it mostly felt like someone clutching my heart, so it was scary, and even made it worse. But I was at rest, not exercising, just thinking, so I gradually (and after checking with some family members with some medical training) decided that it wasn't going to hurt me. And that thought helped me, knowing where the pain was coming from and that it wouldn't really harm me. Now, I can fight them off from the first twinge, just by doing deep breathing and reassuring myself that everything's okay.

I, too, didn't want anything to do with medications, at your age. I thought I would somehow lose something essential about my "self", if I let some drug mess with my mind {I don't even drink alcohol, largely because my Dad did.} But, I have tried anti-depressants, and it was nothing like that. My "self" didn't change at all. I wasn't fake-happy; I just wasn't dragged through the depths of sadness every time I did something even slightly "wrong". And, now I don't take any medications. To some extent, in the process of living, I seem to have learned other ways of coping. As I understand, that's the usual reason for prescribing medications: to lighten the load just enough for the person to learn how to carry it themselves.

Anyway, everyone's different. That's just how it worked for me.

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