I often have people ask me, “What happens when you panic? Like, is it bad?” Well, have you ever watched a horror movie and got that uneasy feeling in the pit of your stomach? That’s pretty much how it starts. In fact, for some people with panic disorder, that feeling never goes away. Your skin might start to feel cold, or hot. You breathe a bit faster, but less air gets in. You start to sweat, your fingers tingle, your insides churn and you feel light-headed. You’re going to faint. You’re going to throw up. You’re going to shit yourself. You’re going to have a heart attack. You’re going to die.
Extreme? Yes. But very, very real.
Living with panic disorder is like having a gun to your head. The trigger will be pulled if you get stuck in traffic. Or if you are in a queue. Or if you find yourself in a particularly busy area. Or if something unexpected happens. Or if you don’t get enough sleep, or too much sleep, or if you bump into someone you know, or bump into someone you don’t know. If you have to speak publicly, if you have to go to an interview, if you travel, if you get lost, if you wake up on the wrong side of the bed. Or, it will just go off randomly at any time or place, for no particular reason at all. But what you can be sure of is that the trigger will be pulled.