My Panic Attacks Terrify Me

I have been reluctant to put this out there, but I have had a change of heart. As I write this I am still afraid and extremely self conscious, but I hope baring my soul will bring this issue to light, as there is so much stigma attached to things like this in our society. I hope the information comforts or will be useful to someone out there. Well at least makes them feel like they are not alone, the same way personal revelations by other bloggers have helped me.

This condition makes me feel weak, embarrassed and fed up with myself. I don’t understand how I can let my mind control me, when I should be in control. It’s like there are 2 competing thoughts in my head and the destructive one is winning. The thought or voice that says, “There is no air”, “You are going to die now” is louder. It overpowers my rational self that tries to be heard. The one that tells me to focus on something else. This is all so silly. Of course I can breathe. Don’t panic. But of course I do and my heart is racing and my breathing is strangled and it feels like the windscreen is closing in on my face like a plastic bag and I am suffocating.  All this happens in a spilt second. All the while my rational self is fully aware that it is all so absurd.

The panic attacks started after an unbearable loss I just could not deal with. I can’t even write about it. It just felt like something inside me broke. It pains me to talk about it so I will just say that from what I read, it says that traumatic events like death can trigger panic attacks. That event, plus a string of bad luck and a terrible office environment, has kind of pushed me over the edge.

My condition at the moment is situational and not full-blown. It only happens in the car which makes me feel trapped. It’s like there is not enough air to breathe. And I have always been fine in cars. The moment hit me suddenly. It happened in a heartbeat. A signal went to my brain telling me I can’t breathe and then my brain responded by making me physically hold my breath and hyperventilate. Soon I really don’t have enough oxygen going to my brain and am in full panic mode. That’s the only way I know how to explain it.

From what I read, it is a fight or flight response which has been in our genes since the caveman days. The adrenaline makes the heart beat extra fast and my hands gets sweaty. I always feel like I am going to pass out. Actually I feel like I will just suffocate and die in that instant. I also feel intense fear. It feels like the car has plunged into the ocean and you’re trapped inside, dying. The odd thing is, I am not at all afraid of dying and more petrified of losing people dear to me.

When I am having an attack, focusing on a calm and soothing voice helps and it also helps to hold someone’s hand or listen to a familiar song that is soothing to me. Noise from the rain crashing down on the windscreen or the loud radio, makes me feel more claustrophobia and caved in. I can’t bear anyone touching me at that time, other that holding my hand. I feel so bad, but someone putting their arm around my shoulders makes me hyperventilate even more. I just need space and it’s so great that most people seem to instinctively understand that. Basically, it already feels like there is a weight of bricks on my chest. Even in that moment, I feel mean pushing well meaning people away, because I know they are just trying to help and don’t realize it’s making it worse. It’s like people crowding around someone who is has fainted or is feeling faint. Crowding around just makes them have less fresh air, which is what they need.

This infuriating phobia has been socially embarrassing to me. I avoid sitting in cars with more than 2 people in it. The most I can go is 3 and I always need to sit in the front seat near the air vent. Sometimes I just need to open the windows or completely get out of the car and let the attack pass. It’s worse and fear inducing, if there is a heavy rain outside or if the car is stuck in traffic. I can never ever sit through a mechanical car wash.

All this has led me to reject invitations to social gatherings that I would otherwise want to go to. It is too embarrassing to explain the problem and it just feels like I am being a burden, difficult, and highly irrational. I started having a problem in movie theatres as well when it is too overcrowded, but overcame it by always having a bottle of water with me so that when I sip on the water I manage to distract my mind. The water has become like a security blanket or distraction tool, in the theatre. Also in a movie theatre there’s always the option that I can get out. I look at the exit signs to remind myself of this option. Just writing this makes me feel embarrassed.

I find myself withdrawn and happier when I am alone. There is no social expectation to deal with or people to disappoint. On some days I just feel like taking a journey somewhere and escaping everything. It’s the idea of escape from the crushing expectations of both others and myself, that appeals to me. Deep down I know I am highly disappointed in myself. I have let my younger self down.

The day after the attack, as I was feeling sad and lost, this song was playing at a store and it just spoke to me.  I went back home and discovered it was a Green Day song.  I found out that the lead singer of the band, Bille Joe Armstrong, who is close to my age also suffers from anxiety and panic attacks and it influences his music. He even wrote a Panic Song but somehow this one which is not directly about the subject appeals to me more.


It is a political song, but you can see from the lyrics why it speaks to me and maybe to you as well?

Do you know what’s worth fighting for
When it’s not worth dying for?
Does it take your breath away
And you feel yourself suffocating?

Does the pain weigh out the pride?
And you look for a place to hide?
Did someone break your heart inside?
You’re in ruins

One, 21 guns
Lay down your arms
Give up the fight
One, 21 guns
Throw up your arms into the sky
You and I

When you’re at the end of the road
And you lost all sense of control
And your thoughts have taken their toll
When your mind breaks the spirit of your soul
Your faith walks on broken glass
And the hangover doesn’t pass

Nothing’s ever built to last
You’re in ruins


Did you try to live on your own
When you burned down the house and home?
Did you stand too close to the fire?
Like a liar looking for forgiveness from a stone

When it’s time to live and let die
And you can’t get another try
Something inside this heart has died
You’re in ruins


One, 21 guns
Lay down your arms
Give up the fight
One, 21 guns
Throw up your arms into the sky
You and I

I also read that there are many famous people who suffer from this condition. Those who have been vocal about it include Nicole Kidman and Kim Basinger. Michael Jackson is also known to suffer from paralyzing attacks which may have led to dependence on anxiety medication.  The one that surprised me the most was that one of them was the Father of Psychology Sigmund Freud himself.  Others that surprised me include Donny Osmond and Hugh Grant who shared his problem in an interview:

The reason for Hugh Grant’s semi retirement is his dependence on prescription medication for his panic attacks.

“I went to every shrink in London. I had every treatment – I had a man oscillate something in front of my eyes and another man who stabbed me in the arm.

“The one thing that did me some good was a bloke who said that when you have a panic attack it’s your natural adrenalin which you need to do the scene, but just a fraction too much.

“So if you just breath and take it down a little you can do it. Just knowing that helped, so I got through this movie just about all right. Just.”

A quote that makes me think that perhaps writing about it is the best first step in dealing with it:

Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write, compose or paint can manage to escape the madness, melancholia, the panic and fear which is inherent in a human situation.
Graham Greene

The American Psychological Association defines the condition as such:

panic, or anxietyattack, as described by the American Psychological Association, is defined as a “…sudden surge of overwhelming fear that comes without warning…”. The symptoms listed by the APA include a racing heartbeat, difficulty breathing, paralyzing terror, hot flashes, and a fear of impending death or insanity.

The most shocking one to me is Winston Churchill who seems like the last person to suffer from panic attacks, but did and it was probably hidden as he was supposed to be seen as a strong leader.

” When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had a lot of troubles in his life, most of which had never happened”.

To me it is a comforting thing to know. Knowing this makes me feel that perhaps I shouldn’t condemn myself as a weak-minded person just because I suffer anxiety attacks. Perhaps it is just the same as suffering the common cold, except that this is a mental and not a physical ailment.

Nicole Kidman has always been open about her panic attacks. She was afraid to enter confined places as it meant she could not escape if she needed to, something I can definitely relate to:

“She was, like: ‘Oh my god! There is no way I can go out!’ when someone suggested going to a local bar.

Nicole explained her fears in a 2002 interview with Vogue magazine,

“I panic in front of all the cameras. My hands start shaking and I have trouble breathing. Tom would always whisper to me that everything was all right.”

I guess we all don’t like being the sore thumb that sticks out, or be perceived as weak. The stigma about mental illness is very strong in Singapore. Hardly anyone goes to see a shrink or counsellor if they suffer from depression or any other ailments. Society seems to expect you to handle it yourself.

Here is a list of famous people who suffer from panic attacks which helps me feel that I am not so abnormal after all.

1. Princess Diana /princess/
2. Sigmund Freud /psychologist/
3. Alfred Lord Tennyson /poet/
4. Charolette Bronte /writer/
5. Susie O’Neill / gold medalist-swimmer/
6. John Cougar Mellancamp /musician, actor/
7. Ann Wilson Singer – Rock Group “Heart”/
8. Winona Ryder /actress/
9. Marie Osmond /entertainer/
10. Cher /singer, actress/
11. Beverly Johnson /super model/
12. Roseanne Barr /comedian – actress/
13. Michael Jackson /singer/
14. Dennis Hopper /actor/
15. Nicole Kidman /actress/
16. Nicholas Cage /actor/
17. Sissy Spacek /actress/
18. Johnny Depp /actor/
19. Sally Field /actress/
20. Alanis Morisette /singer/
21. Burt Reynolds /actor/
22. Courtney Love /singer – actress/
23. Delta Burke /actress/
24. Donny Osmond /entertainer/
25. Winston Churchill /politician/
26. Aretha Franklin /singer/
27. Lani O’Grady /actress/
28. Michael English /singer/
29. Sir Laurence Olivier /actor/
30. Earl Campbell football player/
31. Al Kasha /songwriter/
32. Emily Dickinson /poet/
33. Marty Ingels /comedian/
34. John Madden /sports announcer/
35. Leila Kenzle /actress/
36. Willard Scott /weatherman/
37. Shecky Greene /comedian/
38. Olivia Hussey /actress/
39. Oprah Winfrey /host – says she had just one attack/
40. Tom Snyder /host/
41. John Candy /comedian – actor/
42. Sam Shepard /playwright/
43. Isaac Asimov /author – educator/
44. Charles Schultz /cartoonist/
45. Dean Cain /actor/
46. Barbra Streisand /singer – actress/
47. Anne Tyler /author/
48. James Garner /actor/
49. Jim Eisenreich /baseball/
50. Pete Harnisch /baseball/
51. Nikola Tesla /inventor/
52. Charlotte Bronte /author/
53. Alfred Lord Tennyson /poet/
54. David Bowie /singer/
55. John Steinbeck /author/
56. W.B. Yeats /poet/
57. Sir Isaac Newton /scientist/
58. Abraham Lincoln /president/
59. Barbara Gordon /filmmaker/
60. Robert Burns /poet/
61. Edvard Munch /artist/
62. John Stuart Mill /philosopher/
63. Calista Flockhart /actress/
64. Lucille Ball /actress, singer/
65. Jordan and Jonathon Knight /new kids on the block/
66. Norm McDonald /comedian/
67. Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics /singer/
68. Scarlett Johansson /actress/
69. Naomi Judd /song writer, musician, actress/
70. Beverly Johnson /super model/
71. Carly Simon /singer/
72. Naomi Campbell /super model/

Just some additional information on Claustrophobia which helps me understand my condition better.

It is defined as an anxiety disorder in which a person experiences fear in confined places. Most people consider claustrophobia to be a fear of small places themselves, but many claustrophobes describe their fear as being more a result of a perceived inability to escape. This is perhaps one reason why many claustrophobes can cope in a particular room until someone closes the door.

Some useful information about Agoraphobia which is linked to anxiety attacks.

Agoraphobia was traditionally thought to involve a fear of public places and open spaces. However, it is now believed that agoraphobia develops as a complication of panic attacks. With agoraphobia, you’re afraid of having a panic attack in a situation where escape would be difficult or embarrassing. You may also be afraid of having a panic attack where you wouldn’t be able to get help.

Because of these fears, you start avoiding more and more situations. For example, you might begin to avoid crowded places such as shopping malls or sports arenas. You might also avoid cars, airplanes, subways, and other forms of travel. In more severe cases, you might only feel safe at home.

About the Fight or Flight response that is in the human DNA:

The fight or flight response can be seen as one of the most important parts of our make-up – a highly efficient survival response for dangerous times. Back then, threats were simple and straight forward but often very dangerous – a wild animal, or member of an enemy tribe for instance.

That is why the mind of a human being can trigger a panic attack fast and unconsciously. This is highly important. People who suffer panic attacks often report that “they come from nowhere” and this is an essential part of the fight or flight response.

About bookjunkie

Blogging about life in Singapore & recently cancer too.
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34 Responses to My Panic Attacks Terrify Me

  1. Sabrina says:

    Wow, what a post! I guess everyone has their own debilitating secrets, and it’s courageous of you to share. It must have felt like a burden unloaded too. I have never experienced a panic attack (on the contrary I remain exceptionally calm even when the situation is a tense one), so I probably wouldn’t be able to grasp the scariness of it. It does sound very scary. Does it only happen in cars? How about other claustrophobic places like in lifts?

    Anyway from your long list of famous people with panic attacks, it looks like you’re not suffering alone. My own dirty little secret is that I had an eating disorder and being a psychological/mental illness, there’s sort of a stigma attached to it. I never told my friends of it, but just having a blog and the support of the community, it’s amazing. That’s what blogging is for 🙂

    P.S. I like to go on solo escapades too. Sometimes it feels better not to be around friends. No need to keep thinking of conversation topics!

    • bookjunkie says:

      Thank you so much for commenting here and sharing your secret 🙂 yes I do feel a bit of a load off now. At the moment it’s cars but once I experienced it in a big room that had too many people in it, but luckily I was able to walk out and have a breather. It’s very much a mind control thing. I haven’t seen anyone about it because at the moment I can live with it. I am also afraid of being dependent on any meds. I don’t even take panadol. I guess its part of my issue with control. I always need to feel in control.

      It was really comforting to find that list of famous people and that it included people like Winston Churchill was mind blowing.

      I can understand what an eating disorder feels like because at one point when I dieted too much i started becoming afraid of food and it felt that i was putting poison in my mouth. It was part of a control thing for me. I even played around with food on my plate to convince people around me I was eating. As you can see from my posts I eat loads now. I just wish there wasn’t a stigma attached to these conditions. Because I think they are similar to physical ailments like a cold or flu. We just can’t help it. It’s feels like something you just came down with one day.

      • I liked this quote so much: Writing is a form of therapy. Sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write, compose or paint can manage to escape the madness, melancholia, the panic and fear which is inherent in a human situation. Graham Greene

        Well done on sharing. I think acceptance and admitting this will be the first step of recovery. It all sounds quite straight forward to me in that your body is dealing with a traumatic situation.

        It’s nice that there are songs to help, people to help, strategies to help as well as relief in knowing there are other people who suffer. I’d say to spend some time on meditation, deep breathing or yoga. My mom would tell you to transfer the panic attack into something else, such as a distraction like holding your thumb and index finger together while taking 10 deep breaths and knowing it will pass. It’s worth a shot! 🙂


  2. cala4lily says:

    I read a response from you on another blog (can’t remember which one) and found the link to this panic attack post. I just wanted to say, amazing.

    I have suffered with depression pretty much all my life (diagnosed with recurring severe depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) so I understand the embarrassment and stigma attached to mental illness of any kind. I started a blog with an entirely different intention but have found myself revealing many things I never revealed before, even in therapy. I hope by blogging I can finally overcoming many things but idealistically hope it helps someone else someday.

    I have found blogging and revealing such deep secrets has helped tremendously and I hope you find the same. I have had panic attacks on rare occasions, mostly when something triggers memories related to my PTSD, so I know how scary they can be. I have a friend who suffers with regular panic attacks and only recently started seeing someone because they started to debilitate her life. She was ashamed and blamed herself, tried to keep it secret for a long time.

    So, I just wanted to say, you are not alone, congratulations for being able to talk about it at all, and hopefully when enough of us talk about (or blog about) our mental illnesses, those stigmas will be removed. Cancer patients are not stigmatized because it is an illness out of their control, mental illnesses should be the same. Sometimes the mental suffering is worse because it is understood less then physical pain.

    • bookjunkie says:

      you are so right…the shame is a big part of it even though I know it’s something I shouldn’t be ashamed of as I can’t help it. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. It has made me feel a whole lot better. Bloggers are just so nice and supportive – you fee like my friends even though I have only met you online 🙂 I never thought about it that way…yes it’s true….maybe if more of us talk about it..the stigma will be reduced. It’s great when some brave famous people share their problem. I must check out your blog…it will be therapy for me 🙂

  3. David Coles says:

    No need for panic attacks ever again. The key is to expand your reality so it can absorb any information. You are experiencing your mind stuck in a small place whilst trying to cram enormous thoughts into it…like the loss of a loved one. I feel for you after reading this blog but there is an answer which I freely share with anyone interested.I am not promoting happiness or fluffy shit, I am sharing a real way to feel life and become the creator of it rather than being at the mercy of it.

    Hope this helps you…


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  5. nicolaquinn says:

    The biggest challenge with panic attacks is overcoming the fear of the fear, and not being scared of the awful physical feelings.

    Luckily there are some great self help techniqes that deal with this really quickly. I got over my 20 years of panic attacks in a week using EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) which is easy and free to learn and works really fast. Try it, sounds like you have little to lose.

    Info on my site or google it.

    Hope this helps and good luck!


  6. Funny that Nicola mentioned EFT. I love that and have been using it as well for years. Here’s a good link. I’m sure you can find one of panic as well.

    • bookjunkie says:

      thanks Julie…it is quite hynotic and i like the idea of changing my mind and riding it of all the negative stuff implanted into it unconsciously over the years.

  7. 365days2play says:

    It is scary to know that it feels so uncontrollable and that it could just happen anytime and anywhere. I can fully understand you wanting to avoid social situations. I do the same too and sometimes staying at home just feels safer and less pressurising. I hate that I feel this way, even though logically and technically speaking, there really is nothing to fear at all. But somehow the body just reacts and no amount of logic works. My suggestion is to start one step at a time. Start with really small groups, in familiar situations, then try to progress from there.

    That looks like a really long list of panic attack sufferers. I wonder why it is so.

    • bookjunkie says:

      Wow it really feels reassuring to read your comments…I don’t feel so alone and isolated when I have such supportive blogger friends. Like another blogger friend of mine Living Dilbert said….you all feel like my nicest, kindest colleagues. Blogging is therapeutic because it feels like I am in a safe environment….a writers’ workshop/ community 🙂 especially lovely to have so many female voices on it 🙂

      Thanks a million!!! Always look forward to your comments.

      I read somewhere that 50% more women suffer from anxiety then men…wonder if it’s related to our hormones or brain function that’s so attuned to emotion.

    • It is so because our thoughts are currently guided by fear based decision making, which works fine to a point. As the systems we create offer so many choices combined with a breaking down of anything clear and real to believe in…whammy, what do you get? An epidemic of psychological problems! Our problem solving mindset to life is going into overload. It will get worse until we wake up and start looking at our existence more honestly and understand it before we keep forging further into our technological progression.

  8. Lanita says:

    I get them occasionally, especially when I fly. My first husband was killed in a plane crash, so the attacks make total sense. When one happens, I do take medication, but I also meditate, breathe deeply, and try to rationally talk myself down off the ledge.

    I feel privileged to be in such renowned company.

    • bookjunkie says:

      Thank you so much for sharing. It means a lot to me.

      I am totally not good in planes as well. It was also triggered after the sudden loss of my father. I am still not too good talking about it as it was very traumatic.

    • bookjunkie says:

      I am so sorry for your loss….must have been so traumatic. I just can’t imagine getting through something like that. You are brave!!

  9. MARIE COLE says:

    You are such a great writer, thank you for sharing something so private and I am sorry that you suffer from this.

    • bookjunkie says:

      You’re very sweet and I am so grateful for your encouragement Marie 🙂 I find it therapeutic to talk about my distresses especially knowing there’s a supportive community of lovely ladies out there.

  10. Dinie says:

    Hi, I came across your blog while trying to find medical advice regarding panic attacks to place on my blog and I truly understand how you feel. My panic attacks occur in public transports most of the time too because the first time I had one was on the way to school in a very crowded bus. I think it’s all about breaking that association (eg for you, cars and panic attacks) but with panic attacks, it’s easier said than done.

    I get very frustrated when people don’t understand what I’m going through & they try to distract me with happy thoughts. But the more they do that, the more the panic attacks threaten to explode and I get very angry at these people who mean well (which makes me feel really bad after that).

    Also, I can relate to how you prefer being alone. I do that too because I feel that being alone gives me more control of where I want to be, especially on the onset of a panic attack. Then, I wouldn’t have to answer to people why I need to leave and such.

    But I’m just glad to have come across your blog because at least I know that I’m not the only one feeling this way(: My counsellor told me that if you put in constant effort in trying to fight these panic attacks, one day they will just stop. So, here’s hoping that one day you’ll get over them too(: Thank you

    • bookjunkie says:

      Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your experience with me. I felt so alone in this. You described exactly how I feel. Hope we can both slowly get back control of our minds and beat this thing. I too feel that people who never suffered from it don’t understand and sometimes they get frustrated with me which makes it a whole lot worse.

      Thanks so much Dinie 🙂

  11. Kamrom says:

    I understand the embarassment. Every time my panic attacks end, i feel like a jerk. Like for worrying people around me, for being so obsessed over something that i know is nothing…My fears tend to manifest as a stopped heart. But after a year like this, im pretty sure its not real.
    I know this without any doubt…for now. But it gets to the piont where anything, no matter how ridiculously not a problem it is, will terrify me. Ive had panic attacks because a toe twitches a few times.

    Its comforting, in a sense, to know that all the symptoms caused are caused because your head things you need to get the heck away from where you are, or you’ll die. Im pretty sure it manifests symptoms almost for that purpose, jsut to terrify us into moving.

    Which is why you mustn’t give in. That will immediatly validate all the fears you have, and will be met by yet more epinephrine boosts. Because now youre not just terrified, you’re terrified and fleeing.

    And I know this — for now. But where i get into trouble is, well..I have this bizarre sensory processing disorder. ultra sensitivty to light, sound and tactile informaiton. Speciflcly, everything hurts always for reason that are really irritating and uncurable. THis seems to be why my panic attacks last several hours: I constantly validated the pain because…everything hurts all the time anyway, and now im paniced so yeah. Every time someone slams a door, a startle can take me to terrorland (not to be confused with terrierland, which is equally horrifying but for less obvious reasons.)

    In mere seconds I go from “fine” to “Im gonna die today. But I thought that yesterday. But It could be today. But ive been saying that for the last year and..” once ive thought about it to that point, ive already entered panic.

    Okay, since im currently panicing too i have no way to end this message. so..-message ends here.-

    • bookjunkie says:

      Thanks so much for sharing Kamrom. It’s always comforting to know you’re not alone. In those moments I feel like I’m going to suffocate to death…..and it’s also the embarrassment of the situation that gets to me. Also I always feel that no one around really believes me as it’s all so against the rational. Even I know it’s not rational, but in that moment when your heart is racing and hands are cold and clammy, it’s impossible to focus on.

      *hugs* hope we both gets through this…

  12. Peace says:

    Thanks for sharing. I can fully understand how you feel being a fellow sufferer myself. I have agoraphobia. Everytime, the panic attack happened, I really feel I am a goner this time around. I badly needed to get away from the society and work but I have financial commitment so I am struggling everyday. Life feels like a battle to me. It gets to a point whereby I really feel that I have no more strength to go on anymore but here I am today feeling hopeful and having an inner faith that I will be able to overcome this challenge. Do not think that you are a weak-minded person. I read a book by Robert Schwartz, “The Life You Planned Before You Were Born” (something like that). I was moved to tears by a statement in the book. It says, “Only the Courageous Choose Fear” It sort of give me the comfort that I am not as useless or cowardice as I or others thought I am. And so are many others who suffer from FEAR.

    Just want to share a few things which help me along my path though I have not completely recovered yet. I guess it boils down that I did not put in my best effort as I was previously resigned to fate and take the path of least resistance but I am determined from today onwards, I will give it my best. I don’t wish to continue to live this way for the rest of my life.

    1) EFT
    2) Changing to a healthier, vegetarian diet (Eliminate caffeine and white sugar especially)
    3) Prayers
    4) Flower Essences especially the Emergency Rescue aka the Five Flower Essence ( I really find them to be very effective most of the time in calming me down in the midst of an attack)
    5) Dr Jeffrey Thompson’s Brainwave Entrainment CDs
    6) Glenn Harold Hypnosis CDs

    Wishing you and all fellow sufferers love and light and May All Sentient Beings who feel trapped
    find the way out. There’s always light at the end of the tunnel!

    • bookjunkie says:

      Thank you so much Peace. That’s exactly what I feel is lacking in my life these days – peace.

      Sometimes I feel I am heading towards agoraphobia as any social activities makes me so anxious. I’d rather be alone at home. Although at the moment it’s the panic attacks that are the bane of my life. I who used to love travel, now worry about the plane ride…..especially due to the confined space issue. It really sucks.

      I think prayer and meditation is something that would help. I will try the flower essences too.

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  15. Nic says:

    I have tried a number of ways to tackle panic attacks over the last 10 years.

    Bach flower essences, aromatherapy, EFT, trigger point therapy, buteyko breathing, reiki, yoga, zen meditation (shikantaza), vipassana meditation, samatha meditation, prayer, vitamin and mineral supplementation, fish oil supplementation, vegetarianism, traditional chinese medicine (liquid and powder prescriptions), western medication, cutting out sugar, cutting out wheat, cutting out meat, cutting out alcohol, weight training, jogging, swimming, going to the beach, holidays, sunbathing, going to the park, swedish massage, foot reflexology, sleeping more, lying in bed, watching movies, pranayama, progressive muscle relaxation, listening to relaxation music, avoiding people, talking to myself during an attack – cognitive behavioral therapy, counselling, seeing a GP, seeing a psychiatrist, seeing a psychologist)

    Out of all the above, the most effective relief came from:

    1. Reiki (as the stress and unnecessary memories stored in the mind were released).

    2. Yoga (as the stress stored in the body was released)(but go for something slow and balancing like Iyengar, Hatha or Yin yoga, not fast and stimulating like Bikram, Ashtanga or Hot yoga).

    3. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (as the remaining negative thought patterns were challenged and dismissed).

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  17. Lena says:

    I have been suffering from panic attacks for almost 8 months now. Eversince my 5 year old daughter passed away suddenly, i been having it. It gets better but sometimes its so bad that I think i’m going to die. I had to go to a cardologist to have my heart check as i have heart palpitations,tremors, chest pains and light headedness. I had to go through tests such as the holter, treadmill and a heart scan. All the results came back normal. The worst is when i feel like dying. That scare me as I have 2 other children. I get through life day by day. I have supportive parents and husband. I really hope to get back to the way I use to be.

    • bookjunkie says:

      I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. I can’t even begin to image the pain of losing a child. My heart truly goes out to you. It really does sound like post traumatic stress. Hope it helps to talk about it.

      For me it happened after the sudden death of my father. These days before an attack can happen I talk myself out of it or through it. Telling myself I’ve survived before and nothing will happen. I get that feeling of suffocation and feel I can’t breathe. For me it is situational claustrophobia especially in cars. I find writing therapeutic and thanks so much for sharing your story as well. I hope it gets easier for you to cope with it.

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