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#190331 - 11/07/07 10:29 AM Panic attacks?
Somethingnot Offline
New Here

Registered: 10/02/07
Posts: 7
I have a question, because I want to know what happened to me. I think maybe it was a panic attack.

Last night I was going out to see a friend perform at a comedy club, and me and my girlfriend were driving out there to see him. The thing is, I didn't prepare so I didn't know exactly where the club was, only the general intersection. As a result, when we got there it was already 10 till, and after 5 after, they won't let anyone else into this place. Anyway, I called the club, found out where the place was, and as my gf drove us over there, she was complaining at me about how it was my fault for not preparing. I started bitching back at her, and before I knew it we were in a full-fledged fight over a pretty stupid thing. But hey, this happens right?

What happened next is what my question is about. I realized that we had passed the 5 minute mark, I missed the slot to go in, and I had agreed to be there. I started to panic, got real quiet first while my gf was still going on. In my memory it sounded like she was getting louder and more intense, but that could just be my perception. I'm not sure. I remember I started to panic, got real scared, I started thinking she was going to start attacking me. What happened next is sort of a blur but I know I bit my hand until it was bleeding pretty profusely.

I remember hearing her go on and on and feeling like I it was too loud to think, even though she wasn't particularly loud. I definitely remember the feeling of fear. Other things that happened is I was dizzy and weak for about the next hour or so, and I got nautious as well. Not sure what else to say about this. I know it may just sound like bitching to some of you, but I really would like to know if anyone else has had this experience. It's happened to me several times and usually what pulls me out of it is self-inflicted pain. For instance, last night I was able to focus on the pain in my hand and it kind of brought a calm back to me.

Thanks
S.not



Edited by Somethingnot (11/07/07 11:15 AM)

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#190337 - 11/07/07 10:54 AM Re: Panic attacks? [Re: Somethingnot]
cbfull Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 386
Loc: Ohio
Were you wholeheartedly convinced you were going to die or go insane? Usually a panic attack involves one of the two fears above all else, but they can be unique to the individual.

It also sounds like you could have momentarily dissociated from your surroundings, going into a sort of semi-conscious state.

The similarities between passing out from lack of oxygen and the feelings during dissociation are remarkable.

If I may make a suggestion, breathing exercises can make the different between panic/retrauma and clarity with some resolve. Trust me, it's all about breath control.

_________________________
Craig

Guilt and shame have never done any of us any good at all.

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#190339 - 11/07/07 11:05 AM Re: Panic attacks? [Re: cbfull]
MarkK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/02/07
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denver, CO
Speaking as a "panic maestro" - it sounds to me like a panic attack. For me the only thing that gets me out of it is the feeling of air movement over my face and a cool compress on the back of my neck. I've done all the breathing exercises in the world, in the presence of a doctor, and still surprised him by passing out. Evidently when I go into full-fledged panic, my blood vessels constrict enough that breathing may or may not help - depending on when I catch what's going on and start the breathing technique. Plus, for me anyhoo, it could be lack of oxygen or too much (hyperventilation). For me, the latter is more frequently the case, but not always.

Pain might work for me - I've just never thought to try it...

Being late, not keeping an agreed arrival time - sounds painfully too familiar to me. I don't think you're alone in this experience.

M


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#190461 - 11/08/07 01:31 PM Re: Panic attacks? [Re: MarkK]
cbfull Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 386
Loc: Ohio
Panic attacks and fainting are not the same thing, but apparently in your situation Mark, they are intertwined. Fainting involves blood vessels relaxing to the point where blood rushes towards your feet. It doesn't take long at this point before you lose consciousness, especially if you are already breathing improperly (not saying that you are). All the air in the world won't help you at this point, the only thing that can help is to get the blood back up to your head (bend over, then sit/lie down and elevate your feet).

If what you are experiencing S.not involves feelings of dread and doom, just take a second to check your breathing to see if it has become shallow. When I was having daily panic attackes, it would get so shallow that I wasn't sure if I was breathing at all. If this turns out to be the case for you, you should know that a large part of the anatomy of a panic attack involves rises in CO2 levels in your bloodstream as well as sitting in your lungs.

Hope this is of help.

_________________________
Craig

Guilt and shame have never done any of us any good at all.

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