Not bad enough to be gentle

I have been experiencing panic attacks, but had no idea. What was I thinking? Or NOT thinking?


“Oh, sudden cold and hot flashes. I feel like hiding. Keep going with my day”

“Woa, my chest feels crazy, not like a heart attack, but like I’m afraid. I have nothing on my mind though. Keep going with my day”

“I feel impossibly cold and like shutting down, just curl up there, and that’s it. Nothing too serious. I can keep going with my day”

“I can’t do a thing. I see all my work on my computer in front of me, but I just can’t. I will just sit here and wait it to pass, keep going with my day”

Does any of the above examples sound like routine to a happy, mental healthy person? Now put them all together, which is the truth of what I get off and on. Why did it take me months to stop and realize I could be taking better care to myself?

I thought I was not suffering enough. I was not in shock, or terror, or crying. I had this image that I’d totally lose control during a panic attack, and if not, not a panic attack. Not bad enough, so I had to keep going. Not that I could keep going, I HAD to, as if I did not deserve to say I was suffering.

Embarassing enough I thought (more than) twice about just not sharing this.

Cruel to myself, that’s me. So much to learn.

“Unexpected Panic Attacks: These panic attacks occur suddenly without any obvious cause or indication. When an unexpected panic attack occurs, the person can be completely relaxed before symptoms develop. This type of panic attack does not accompany any conscious internal cues, such as having fearful thoughts, feelings of intense dread and anxiety, or uncomfortable physical sensations. Unexpected attacks also do not occur with external cues, such as specific phobias or being exposed to a frightening event or situation”

An Overview of Panic Attacks and Symptoms