But eventually I had to make a deal with myself: No drinking to help “take the edge off.” If I was going to drink, it would be when I felt good — pounding a few back to ease anxiety would lead me down a road I didn’t want to take. In the late ’80s and early ’90s panic attacks came on to one degree or another almost daily, and of course the deal with myself was violated all too often. I sought help, and was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I was embarrassed and humiliated, but kept it to myself. For years it was very difficult. Instead of getting better, it seemed to be getting worse. I withdrew, and couldn’t be by myself without thinking the panic attacks would send me — in my term — “cycling out of control.” I remember taking a writing test at CNN in 1989 and having three punishing panic attacks that were so bad I almost got up and walked out of the building. Professional support made things get better, but the attacks never completely went away.
For the original version, visit http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/06/opinion/callebs-panic-attacks/index.html
Those who have had panic attacks are fearful of having another one. So they avoid being in places or situations in which they feel vulnerable or where theres no quick and easy escape. For some, this means they cant be alone. For others, it means they cant be with new people or in crowds of people. In their attempt to create a safe life, they inadvertently create a small life. Some panic attacks are not so omnipresent, occurring only when zero hour draws near. Students panic before an exam. Hosts panic before their guests arrive.
For the original version, visit http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2013/03/11/what-a-panic-attack-feels-like/