I hate this - I hate that I have this issue to deal with or even think about. I hate that it affects me the way it does. I have panic attacks when I feel enclosed and unable to escape. I don't know that I'm necessarily fearful of small spaces - just spaces or situations where I can't escape.
In my mind I think this is absolutely idiotic and insane - I hate it. Its stupid - what is going to happen to me? However, at the moment itself I have such a physiological reaction, that it isn't something I can stop or prevent - it happens in the moment and it begins as a physical response and progresses to include a mental response.
My chest feels like it is imploding. It isn't painful, it just feels crushing and tight - like the photo above. I have a hard time breathing and my heart races. My mind also begins to race and I start to panic - how am I going to get out of this? What am I going to do? What if there is no way out? Panic, Panic, Panic. I hate it.
I've had panic attacks on a busy El car - I had to get off and get on a less crowded one. I've had them in an extremely slow McDonald's drive-thru line. I had one this summer when we bypassed the Boerman Expressway when it was flooded, as did everyone else and the roads in Lansing were at a standstill and we had nowhere to go. I recently had one in an elevator that I thought had stopped - I don't normally care about elevators, but I thought this one had stopped. I've had them in heavy expressway traffic - I have to drive in the outside lanes.
I also had one at the Daughtry concert we went to a couple of weeks ago. It was a small venue, there were 130 people in the room. It was fine - I was fine. Until the host announced that we needed to get up to go to the bathroom now, because once the show started the doors would close and we wouldn't be able to get out. BAM - physical response: chest is tight. Mental response: panic. I spent the first half of the concert intentionally calming myself down and assuring myself that it wouldn't be a long concert and we would be able to get out - and if I really, really NEEDED to leave, they would HAVE to let me out.
I had one while I was on the phone scheduling my MRI last year - on the phone, just thinking about the MRI. Does this look horrible? It really isn't, but I was scared to death and ended up having to take Valium before the test.
Sometimes I panic because I don't feel like I can escape, sometimes I panic because I'm scared of a mob mentality if an emergency would happen - like the Daughtry concert. Sometimes I get the physiological response just from watching something that would terrify me - my chest got tight when Meredith drowned on Grey's Anatomy last season, I can't breathe when the immunity challenge on Survivor involves going under water for as long as the person can (breathing through a tube or at the top of a screen while the tide comes in). Its not even happening to me and I begin to panic!
I hate it. Its stupid. But it isn't something I can prevent - some day I will get therapy.
QOTD: What are you scared of?
getting to know me in 100 days - day 28