Panic Attack First Timer
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.