Wonderful day turned into a Nightmare

by Mike

I was 18 years old and my mother had just given birth to my beautiful baby sister. It was a very happy day for everyone and it had been spent at the hospital with my sister and step father. We were all so joyed to welcome Trista (my new baby sister) into our family. Everything was going great and then the time came where we all would leave for the night (except for my stepfather that is). Instead of going home, I decided to stay at an old neighbour's house who had been a longtime friend of the family's. We were sitting down just enjoying a movie when all of a sudden my heart started beating extremely fast. I felt very uncomfortable, but tried waving it off. Shortly after it become clear that this was not normal. I had never experienced anything like this and knew nothing about anxiety or panic attacks. Before I knew it, my heart was beating out of my chest, my limbs became tingly and numb, I was getting piercing pains throughout my chest, and I was extremely disoriented. I began taking deep breaths trying to calm down, but the idea of having a heart attack soon overwhelmed me. I jumped off the couch and ran for the door, hoping that the fresh air might help, but nothing worked. The friend I was with came running close behind and I told him I was having a heart attack and he needed to call 911! He kept asking me if I was sure he needed to call and to just try and calm down. Eventually, after about a half hour of this I began to calm down and told him not to call anyone. The rest of the night my heart rate kept rising and I didn't get any sleep. I am 23 years old now and I have never stopped having them. They have gotten a lot milder over the last five years, but every once in a while I get some very bad ones and death is constantly on my mind. It has turned me into a hypochondriac and really crippled my life and every day activities. I have gotten pretty good at calming myself down now, but the worry and panic never goes away. I just hope that one day I can live a normal life again without these horrible experiences.

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