1. They are real:
The idea that something such as panic can have such a powerful influence over you is hard to accept. People would like you to believe that it’s “all-in-your-head,” a harmless thought, and that you should brush it aside and ignore it. It doesn’t work like that. You can brush off panic about as easily as someone who can just suddenly decide not to be diabetic. Which of course, they can’t.
2. They can feel like a heart attack:
Every year thousands of people flood through the doors of emergency rooms believing that they’re having a heart attack. What is not often acknowledged is that the chest pain is actually occurring, it’s just not normally the type of pain that’s indicative of a heart attack. Quite simply, during a panic attack the body releases adrenaline that increases the heart rate and causes muscles to contract leading to pain. That pain is real.
3. They can come out of nowhere:
You know the old saying, “hit me like a ton of bricks”? This is probably more true for panic attacks than pretty much anything in life, short of literally being hit by a ton of bricks. Panic attacks can come out of nowhere. A person can one moment be perfectly fine, and the next be incapacitated by the panic. Its ability to show up with no notice is a big reason people who suffer from them are always on edge. They can hit anytime, anywhere.
4. They can develop habits:
Panic attacks can be caused by triggers. Once a person has a panic attack in a certain place or situation, returning to those same surroundings can quickly induce an attack. It’s very common that people who suffer from panic will intentionally avoid putting themselves into these situations for fear of the panic returning. If you know someone like this it’s imperative that you never try and convince them into doing something they aren’t comfortable with. Encourage, and take small steps towards the goal.
5. They can evolve:
For some they can start simply, even text book. Over time, as the person gets used to managing what they’ve come to be known symptoms, the panic can actually evolve, disguising itself and manifesting in new ways. This is particularly difficult to cope with as it leads the person to believe that this time must be something more serious, because panic attacks haven’t felt like this before.
6. They can happen to anyone:
Panic attacks do not discriminate, and nobody is immune. This is not to say that they will happen to everyone, but there is no special trait or feature that can exempt someone from the pool of panic. Rich and poor, young and old, we’re all the same and panic will gladly take aim on any one of us.
7. They can lead to substance abuse:
People with anxiety and panic have a tendency to self medicate. It’s no secret that drugs or alcohol can alter the state of mind and make a person feel a certain way, and when a person is trying to get rid of the anxious feelings, these are easy to turn to methods. Inevitably, the withdrawals from use cause more anxiety, and more use is used to treat it. It creates a perpetual cycle.
8. They can ruin relationships:
The destruction more often than not comes from the outside, non-suffering parties. They can act in a dismissive manner that can cause distress and disappointment. These feelings can make someone feel resentment and a need to distance themselves. This can strain relationships to the point of ruin. This should be on the mind of anyone who has panic attack in their life, be it victim or friend.
9. They can ruin lives:
Make no mistake, panic can have a huge impact on a person’s life. Trying to work and complete other tasks that many may find simple and mundane can be nearly impossible for a sufferer of panic. This sadly can often lead to loss of careers and other associated damages from losing financial security.
10. They can be treated:
Nothing else on this list is as important as this. This is a disease that can be treated. No, they don’t offer a vaccine or any magical cures, but there are treatments available.
If you suffer from panic attacks, think you may suffer from panic attacks, or know someone who suffers from panic attacks, there is only one thing that you absolutely positively must do; seek treatment.
Treatment can vary for many. Some may find that more natural remedies or exercise work best for them, for others a more medical approach may be necessary, but if you leave it to its own devices and avoid getting help, this terrible illness will escalate, and 1-9 will prevail.
Don’t let 1-9 win, 1-9 sucks.