Video content at the bottom of this page:
What you are about to watch is someone going through an actual panic attack.
The content may be disturbing for some viewers and viewer discretion is advised.
The material provided here is for general information and educational purposes only.
No material in this video should be construed or used as medical advice or deemed to replace the formal advice or services from a licensed healthcare professional in your state.
So, I have been debating with myself for some time now if I should record one of my ‘live’ panic attacks and share it publicly on YouTube.
Timing is everything and I just happened to be playing with my phone when I felt one coming on. Once I had my wits about me long enough to think clearer – I turned the video on… and to watch myself from another perspective is heart wrenching.
Many people I know can't comprehend that I have suffered from these for so long! The first one I can recall having was when I was 6 years old. It stemmed from the death of my Grandpa.
I like to play this game called “hide your crazy”. Because that is exactly how I feel when I am having a panic attack. I feel like I am going insane.
So imagine, with that being said how incredibly hard this was for me to share...
I know when I have these attacks that I am being completely irrational. I KNOW I will be OK…but the physical toll this takes on your body wreaks havoc with your mind.
In the past people have said to me:
"How bad can they be?"
"You are so positive all the time, I am sure you'll be fine and are over reacting."
“Don’t be so dramatic.”
“Just calm down.” This one is the absolute WORST thing to say to someone having a panic attack.
“Just calm down” …. gee thanks, wish I had thought of that!
Thankfully I have a wonderful, supportive husband who knows exactly what to say to bring me back to "reality" and I also have a few very close friends who listen to me without judgement.
Most people that don't have panic disorder do not understand them at all. They think the person having one is being foolish or over-reacting.
They don’t understand the physical sensations – the emotional sensations… those two things combined; it engulfs you like a 100-foot wave. You feel like you are drowning.
I thought by making this video it could:
A) Help people understand.
B) Help someone who felt alone in this know that they are not alone and there are “healthier” ways to deal with panic attacks.
C) This could very well make me a subject of ridicule and/or a recipient for the internet trolls.
I was on the fence about adding this to YouTube -- as it is a very personal thing to go through. Quit frankly, it is embarrassing. However, my "rational" thought process for making it was that option A & B outweighed the C option.
I have been dealing with these attacks for so long trust me when I tell you I have tried everything from combinations of prescription medication to yoga to counting leaves on trees (seriously - counting leaves is a mind distraction - it works).
I am currently medication free now as I am choosing to not be dependent on medication, plus when I was taking medication I literally felt nothing. I was a zombie. I knew I did not want to live like that; with zero feelings– people are supposed to feel feelings.
However, someone with panic disorder tends to feel a lot of feelings all at once in a matter of a few seconds. Which is overwhelming and can be very debilitating.
I am dealing with these panic episodes by fully accepting them onto me. Once I feel that sensation of one coming on I let it happen. I use to fight them off for hours…which makes your entire day miserable.
Just let them happen. Accept it and know you are safe, and it will be over soon. For me, they don’t last very long…. Maybe a few minutes…even though they feel like they last FOREVER.
A huge help for me is concentrating on my breathing (in through the nose out through the mouth) – if you focus on something else it assists in the whole “calming down” process.
Listening to calming music- I have found this music called WHOLETONES – it has done wonders for me. If you listen carefully you can hear I have it playing in the background of the video.
I make healthier food choices, I don’t drink or smoke and I strength train 3 times a week.
I also practice yoga and meditation and I do sage smudging and essential oils.
This combination of practices has helped me tremendously.
You will notice in this video I am holding my chest - it was tight and I felt like my heart was irregular. I was shaky, I had shortness of breath, I felt detached from myself, I had difficulty swallowing, and I felt dizzy.
It was hard to concentrate on what to even say during this filming. (Hence this long blog.)
Those are just a few physical symptoms one can go through while having a panic attack.
I know it can feel like you are alone, but please remember you are not and there are people who understand exactly what you are going through. I am one of those people.
Anxiety Disorders affect 18.1 percent of adults in the United States (approximately 40 million adults between the ages of 18 to 54)
I use to suffer from panic attacks about 4-6 times in one day! Now I can go many months without having one.
Keep trying to find a system that works for you. It is not just one thing that will help – I believe it is a combination of things that has helped me and always, ALWAYS seek support from a trusted friend, family member or Doctor.
I hope this video will help. If it has helped even ONE person -- it was so worth making.
This is where I learned to eat healthier and exercise - http://www.integrityfit.com
How to Smudge - http://www.sageandsmudge.com/
Wholetones - https://wholetones.com
Integrity Health is a franchise company residing in New Hampshire. We specialize in health coaching centers combining fitness with weight loss to optimize and promote optimal health. We are also the national purveyors of the EZCOACH Fitness Prescription System licensed by fitness professionals.