Wednesday, September 17, 2008

How to Induce a Panic Attack

It doesn't take much: All you need to do is turn down your street, a block and a half away from your house, and notice the fire engine in the distance. Drive a little closer, and you notice a second truck, a paramedic's truck, and then a third truck...an ambulance. Calculate the distance quickly in your head. Yep. They're all parked in front of your house, all right. Is that a crowd of people? Can you see your kids in the crowd? What were they wearing this morning, anyway?

Next, pull the car over in the middle of the block before yours. You do this for two reasons: One, your street is narrow and you know you won't be able to get your car past the fire truck...not to mention it sure LOOKS like that ambulance is blocking your driveway. Two, you're about to throw up. With the car off, sit for a second and think: Should you get out of the car and run toward the commotion? No. Instead, you pick up your phone and dial your home number. Pick up, pick up, pick up. If he picks up, you're thinking, it probably means it's not him, or Em or N. Pick up, pick up, pick up. When he does, after three rings, you start to cry. It's only then that you notice your hands are shaking so violently you can't keep the phone close enough to your ear to really hear anything more than your neighbor's name. You leave the car where it is, and walk home. It takes hours for the shaking to stop.

[This was Monday evening; it turns out my next-door neighbor had been working in the garden, and it was extremely hot, and she began to feel faint. Unsure what to do, she'd called 9-1-1. In the end, they admitted her to the hospital; her two boys stayed with friends down the street. I don't know if she's home yet--I didn't see her, her husband or her boys yesterday to ask how she's doing--but I'm assuming it's going to be OK. Thank goodness.]

9 comments:

Leila said...

Oh I hear you... do I ever hear you!

Hope your neighbour is well on her way to total recovery.

And yeah, I do understand. See "Ambulance headed to daughter's gym".

po said...

Damn, I about had a panic attack just READING this!

I hope your neighbor is okay!

Ronell said...

BTDT, and it's scary as hell! Glad yours turned out to be a false alarm. You scared me just reading it!! (Ours was a small fire in the kitchen where a contractor was doing remodeling.) But it wasn't the worst case scenario in either of our cases, and that's the important thing!!! Whew! Hope your neighbor is doing much better now.

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Panic Attack Relief said...

There is a lot of other advice here but I will share my thoughts anyway. As has already been mentioned here, the first thing you must realize is that panic attacks cannot kill you and the feeling that may be about to die is just an illusion. Learn some panic reducing techniques. Breathing exercises can help! Your body is then able to see that there is nothing to panic about and can start the process of stopping the over reaction it is having to stresses in your life.

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hello I want to add this information about Panic attack Panic attacks are very sudden, discrete periods of intense anxiety, mounting physiological arousal, fear, stomach problems and discomfort that are associated with a variety of somatic and cognitive symptoms. The onset of these episodes is typically abrupt, and may have no obvious triggers. Although these episodes may appear to be random, they are a subset of an evolutionary response commonly referred to as fight or flight that occur out of context. This response floods the body with hormones, particularly epinephrine (adrenaline), that aid it in defending against harm.Experiencing a panic attack is said to be one of the most intensely frightening, upsetting and uncomfortable experiences of a person's life.