The heart palpations continued and I started to get very anxious; a feeling of nervousness and fear spread over me. I started to tremble and the tightness in my chest felt as if it was closing in on me, a feeling of nausea swirled deep in the pit of my stomach. Still with no idea what was going on I took to the internet (as you do) to try and place my symptoms – and to convince myself that I was not having a heart attack. I trawled through the NHS to find things that would fit. By this time my palpations were pretty consistent, I had a slight nervous shake about me and I just felt scared. As if controlled by something else, I started to cry.
There were a few candidates that were unlikely as they all implied a long-term condition and this had just come out of the blue. I continued reading, and then I found it – symptoms of a panic attack. Now my experience continued on for another hour or so, complete with snot, sweat and tears. Eventually the root cause surfaced, yes stress. Lots of little stresses amounting to one over whelming stress.
It’s hard to explain the intensity of the whole experience or how I felt my heart was going to thunder right out of my chest at any moment. The next day I decided to talk to my mum (what else would I do?) who assured me that I really had experienced a panic attack; and that I need to look after myself to try and avoid it happening again. Yes, easier said than done. The alternative? Having a another panic attack – no thank you!
I wish I had the answers to these attacks, the only thing that seemed to help me was talking it out, taking deep breaths and having some chamomile tea. Once it was over I was partly glad to experience it so that I could empathise more to others – for example, I have realised that some people experience these almost daily with little to no understanding from anyone else. It’s a shame that there is so little understanding for something that can have such a major impact on a life.
I guess all we can do is encourage each other to talk about our experiences and let each other know that it’s OK to experience these things and we don’t have to always hide it from the world. After all, humans are not perfect beings, and when we accept that we can finally cut ourselves and each other some slack we can find a bit more happiness in life.