I was reading through other peoples blogs again earlier and came across this blog that talks about Panic Attacks on Julie’s blog. As I was reading through it, I kept thinking “Oh my goodness, there is someone else who understands what this feels like!”
I had my first experience with a Panic Attack when I was in Kindergarten. I had to be 5 or 6 years old at the time. I remember standing in the middle of the class room, little kid activity going on all around me, while I stared out the open classroom door. As I stood there and stared, I started thinking about the route from the classroom door, down the hallways, to the front door of the school. Then the route from the front door of the school to the front door of my home. A teacher noticed me standing there, quietly staring at the door. She asked me if I was alright, and I broke down crying. I kept repeating that I wanted to go home, I just wanted to go home. They eventually had to send me to the nurse’s office and called my mom to come and get me, as I was irrational and inconsolable. There was nothing that had upset me before this to make me want to go home, I had been having a good day, it just all of a sudden happened.
It took me years to recognize this incident for what it was, a full blown Panic Attack. I had many more over the years, most of them about having to go to school to face the kids that were bullying me in middle school. I missed a lot of school. I missed so much school that I ended up with the principle outside my locked bathroom door in my own house, trying to convince me to go to school. I had a day where my mom literally dragged me onto the school bus, in front of all the kids, while I screamed and repeated over and over again that I didn’t feel good, please don’t make me go.
I didn’t recognize these incidents for what they were until I hit high school and started having to deal with my attacks in that environment. The day that really helped me to realize them for what they were was when, before the school day had started, I just had a nervous breakdown in the foyer of the school. I could not stop crying. I could not stop shaking. My then boyfriend brought me to the guidance counselors office, where I continued to cry for hours as they tried to figure out what was wrong. I couldn’t tell them what was wrong, all I knew was that I had started crying and couldn’t stop. They eventually had to call my mom, and my mom had to instruct my boyfriend to force me to let go of his hand so that she could get me in the car. I was finally able to calm down some once I got home. That was the first time that I went to therapists session and took it seriously. I had been before, but refused to talk, and told my mom that if they continued to make me go it would just be a waste of money, because I wasn’t talking to the “shrinks”. “I’m not crazy, thank you very much.” I found out, during that first therapist’s session that I really participated in, that I could have issues that needed working on and not be “crazy”. I learned about Panic Attacks, and life started to make a bit more sense. I didn’t get a proper diagnoses for all of my issues until years later, (if it’s even correct now) but realizing that there were explanations to why I reacted the way I did sometimes was a real eye opening experience.
If you know someone who suffers from Panic, please, take them seriously. We don’t choose this. Also, read this blog, it really might help you understand Panic.