Panic Attack First Timer

by Rob

For me the first was the worst!

It wasn't my first panic attack but definitely the first 10 out of 10er.

I was just finished work and was walking from the office to my car, when I suddenly got an overwhelming sensation of fear for no particular reason. Being relatively close to my car I quickly got in and expected the feeling to subside. Didn't happen.

Not wanting to sit in the parking lot any longer I decided to take off on my 20 minute commute home. Still not feeling comfortable, I thought if I kept going things would get better.

As I pulled into traffic my body (especially my neck and shoulders) tightened up and I could feel the tension all over my body. I was becoming more panicked every second.

My heart is pounding through my chest, my hands are sweating bullets, my legs feel like spaghetti, etc. Finally, I managed to pull over into a parking lot. Not knowing what was happening, I tried to alert fellow commuters that I was in distress but everyone appeared to be in there own daze.

Realizing now that I was too froze to do anything I literally was preparing myself for death as it would seem quite preferable to this sensation.

After about 5 minutes of expecting to die at any minute, I decided that I probably could do something. I was only 5 minutes away from the hospital so I took off there. I scurried to the emergency room.

Although still extremely anxious, I was relieved that I was about to be saved and no longer felt like I was dying. Unable to sit still I attempted to check in with the nurse. However, being a 'non-emergency', there would be at least a 2 hour wait. Believe me, this was an first class emergency to me, however not wanting to create a fuss I stood in the waiting room.

At least I felt that if my panic attack got worse I would be safe here. After about 4 hours of waiting, pacing, sweating, etc. I finally noticed that my panic attack was becoming less intense. Not really knowing what to say to a doctor, if I was ever going to see one, I left and made it home.

That was about 9 years ago. After several discussions with various doctors and different medications, I believe that I have a decent understanding of my panic attacks and what triggers them. Stress, lack of sleep, consumption of alcohol along with numerous other factors contribute to my attacks.

The thing about the attack above is that I had no idea what was happening to me which makes it all the more scarier.


Comments for Panic Attack First Timer

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Jan 15, 2010
panic attacks
by: emily

well Rob, i was having panic attacks such as you described in 1975 -76 when NO ONE KNEW WHAT THEY WERE - at least not in the small community i lived in..and i was having many many attacks every day...they did not last as long as yours, so lucky me, i could fit more in!!....i was sure i was going to die with each and every one - unless you have had a panic attack, there is no way to describe the feeling except to say that. I was investigated at great length for cardiac problems due to the rapid heart rate that came along with the attack, but of course nothing was found because i was a healthy 28 year old....its a long story but i havent had one for many years....i was finally diagnosed with depression in 1996 which i am sure i have had all my life....just recently, i had a major episode, but this had led me to programs thru provincial Mental Health and i cannot say enough good things about my experience so far....i have work to do and that is fine, and i know i have to do the work if i want to control the anxiety and depression....i wish you good mental health and hope you can find what you need to get it.


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