Wednesday, April 09, 2008


Full blown panic attack last night. I think that may have been the worst one I have ever had. I have had maybe 5 of them since moving to Ann Arbor last July. Mostly they relate to the stress of the end of the term. This one has some other personal issues involved. As a clinician, I can sit back and explain every single thing that is occurring, the entire physical response (heart racing, hyperventilating,etc) and even the emotional stuff, like you simply think that you are going to die, there is a fear that is intense, so I am trying to be my own shrink during a panic attack. It was almost effective. Not enough to NOT have a panic attack though. It never fully went away, I continue to ride the edge, nearing panic at any moment. I am focusing on my homework. I think partly because I know that the panic will increase if I don't. I called just about everyone that I know that I felt I would not disturb them too terribly if I called. NOT A SOUL answered their It was probably for the best as no one could understand a word I was saying. (hyperventilating and all) I did leave Jim a voice mail and he told me this morning that he didn't understand it and thought I said something about getting my taxes done.

It is really interesting though to experience these intense feelings. Painful too, but to feel them and understand that the actual reason for them is almost trivial, you have to wonder what else is going on inside of me that takes these trivial events and then allows them such a great impact on me. To have the physical symptoms is also interesting as, even as you are telling yourself that "yes I feel like my heart is going to explode, yes I think I might actually die right here right now, yet I know that this is normal and nothing bad is really going to happen.........yet physically and emotionally those feelings and thoughts don't just leave! So it is fully a response that I am not in control of. And there are a few tricks that probably make it not so worse, like focusing on something, breathing into a bag, slowing your breathing down.......

Amazing though that it is such a powerful reaction. It can go away at any time! :o)

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