Overcoming Panic Attacks - My First Panic Attack

by Rick
(Westport, MA)

Symptoms of anxiety attack were extremely scary

Symptoms of anxiety attack were extremely scary

One Sunday night this past spring I experienced probably the single most frightening moment in my life thus far. On the prior two nights I had gone out and drank quite heavily. In addition to this, on Sunday I decided to go to the gym and I worked out for about 2 hours straight while sweating profusely throughout the workout.

About an hour later I was sitting at home on the couch when I started to feel dizzy and had some pain and numbness in my legs. At first I didn't think much of it but in time the pain increased. Then things got worse when I started to feel like my heart was going to pound out of my chest.

At this point I have to admit that I was starting to become extremely nervous and worried. You should know that I have never had any sort of panic or anxiety attack prior to this event. Next, I felt a shooting pain in my chest and arm. I am 22 years old, but I was certain that I was in fact having a heart attack.

My friends immediately rushed me to the ER. By the time I arrived at the ER I couldn't walk on my own power, and I was having a very hard time breathing. At this time I actually blacked out, and the next thing I remember was waking up in a hospital bed.

What happened? The reason I felt the pain in my chest was due to a condition known as hypokalemia, which is a potassium deficiency in the blood. The reason for the trouble breathing was solely due to the fact that I had an extreme anxiety attack, and since it had never happened to me before this, I had no idea of such symptoms of anxiety attack.

Ever since that incident I have had issues with anxiety. Specifically, I always felt as if my heart beat was irregular, even though the doctors told me everything was fine. To solve the problem and as a treatment for anxiety attacks, I began taking a couple anti-anxiety medications. Eventually I was able to quit them and today I feel 99% better and successful in dealing with anxiety attacks.

Even if you have never had a panic attack before, it could happen at any time. My advice after going through what I did is that you need to be aware of the power your mind has over you. You need to think positively and not let anxiety overtake you. Problems with anxiety are more far reaching than we realize and it can make us feel like we have other serious problems, even physical.


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