top of page

How I Survived Panic Attacks

What had happened left me in a hospital bed, breathing into a paper bag.

Engin Akyurt on Pexels

Trigger warning: This article is about how I managed to cope with panic attacks. I write about what worked for me, and by no means am I giving professional advice. If you find this article distressing, you do not have to read it: your mental health comes first.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized how important mental health is and how external events can impact our well-being. Yet, many experiences are still misunderstood and undervalued. One of them is suffering from panic attacks.

Some of the things that people, even loved ones, have said to me while I was experiencing a panic attack are:

- It's all in your head. Relax.

- You’re just too stressed. Relax.

- Now, don't think about it. It will go away. Relax.

I wish it were that simple to "relax." And yes, it was in my head, but also my body.

The intense fear or discomfort that a panic attack provokes had both mental and physical repercussions.

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America provides an extensive list of panic symptoms, including palpitations, pounding heart, trembling, shaking, chest pain, derealization, sweating, feelings of choking, and more.

The same symptoms and further explanations can be found on other websites. However, if you want to inform yourself, make sure the websites you use are recognized and reliable.

It is also important for you not to rely on websites in place of a medical diagnosis. While they are great tools to provide you with precious information, they don’t substitute health professionals.