(photos: brought to you by Google...Images)
I'm sure I'm not the only teen who has suffered from anxiety and/or panic attacks. The first one I ever had was when I was 12. I won't get into detail because I simply don't want to. But it was a horrible experience that was happening and I was crying, I was shaking, I felt my hands cold and numb, and I couldn't move. I didn't know it was that until laaater when I learned about all these disorders.
I remember taking psychology during my senior year and being my first class of the day, I was stoked! I was even more excited when I saw there was a chapter full of mental disorders. It had always fascinated me, I just don't like it when I have to go through it!
I've had several lately, most happening within the last year maybe two. I've had them at home, not as much, I've had them with Milton (embarrassing on our second date), and I've even had them at school. I hate when others see me cry so I would take the longest restroom break until I would kind of calm down. It hadn't been so bad until last year that I was taken to the hospital. And not too long ago, but I knew I wasn't dying or anything so I had to try calming down and having Milton by my side helped.
Basically what happened last year was this...
I was over at Milton's house and we were watching tv. I started feeling my body tense up, but I tried ignoring it and focused on whatever we were watching. But it only got worse. After a few minutes he had asked me something and I didn't answer. He noticed something was wrong and when I was able to move my mouth I told him my whole body was numb. What I mean about my mouth hurting was that it felt numb and it was hard for me to talk because I had to move my lips and it hurt. He sat me up straight and started to calm me down, rubbing my arms and legs and hands, but nothing was working, I couldn't move and I felt numb! I began to freak out more and I began to cry, he quickly brought me a glass of water for me to drink, it was tough holding the glass, and tougher drinking it. I actually couldn't get a sip, the water just dripped down my mouth. His brother and his brother's girlfriend came into the living room and she noticed my pulse was racing, I honestly didn't think it was racing. I only felt my body numb and that was it. So they took me to the hospital, Milton carried me to the car because my legs felt weak. Yes kind of romantic but that's not what I was thinking, I was thinking I was going to have a stroke! Once at the hospital, they gave me a paper I had to sign, DUDE I CAN'T HOLD ANYTHING! I was barely able to walk or drink water! So Milton signed everything for me, that's the first time anyone besides a doctor knew my weight, and when I found out he knew I was mad lol They took me in and connected some things on my chest and arms. My pulse reached 132 I believe, that's not supposed to go over 100! Milton was by my side through it all *keeper* and I slowly calmed down and was getting normal pulse. They asked me different questions, made me pee in a cup, and after a while they gave me a paper. What did it say? Generalized Anxiety Disorder. They explained it to me a bit, but I wasn't listening, I knew what it was I had learned it in school! And with that they let me go.
I was still really scared because it had never gotten that bad. I eventually had to tell my parents, but when it came down to it I broke down in tears and Milton did the talking. You guys should have seen the look on my mum's face when Milton asked if we could talk to her! Swear she thought I was pregnant lol No mum, I'm not doing that! But what I hate is that she said she was giving me advice or making me look at the brighter side, I felt she was mad at me! She started saying it's not fair for someone like me to feel like that, I have a lot in life to be thankful for and to be crying and having those "episodes" wasn't right. She was asking what happened to the positive and happy version of you, and I hate when people start talking to me like that! Do you really think if I had an option, I would choose to be feeling this way??? People really don't know what goes on inside one's mind!
Since I was still scared and lately my heart would be a major concern, since I always think the worse, I scheduled an appointment with a cardiologist. And they all seemed shocked to see an 18 year old walk into their office because she thinks there's something wrong with her heart. I had different tests done on me. My favorite was like an ultrasound of my heart. It was disgusting but cool seeing my heart pumping fast, which was normal, and there would be neon flashes which would represent where blood was being pumped. And then for 24 hours I had what seemed like a CD player or cassette player! There were 6 different wires attached all on my stomach and chest all connected to a little machine which would record my heart beat for the next 24 hours. I have the pictures, but I'm obviously not showing those! And I cried leaving that day. I felt like there was really something wrong with me and I felt everyone stared at me weird. Of course I put up a front with my family. But thank God, nothing was abnormal. They said I'm good, it's just stress and anxiety and that I have to learn to control those fears or thoughts I have. Ok Doc!
(photos taken: November 11, 2014)
I had dealt with anxiety/panic attacks before and I never knew what they were. I remember being on vacation and calling my mum saying I wasn't able to catch my breath and that I felt my heart accelerating. The only thing she was able to do was tell me to calm down, drink tea, go out to a park, or head to my grandma's (or the manager's office) until she'd get back. This last time, the same thing happened. I began feeling agitated. I felt I couldn't catch my breath. Then the numbness kicked in, my arms and face. Then of course the crying and panicking which is worse! Milton has been a saint always being by my side when it happens! It did take quite a while for me to calm down! I wasn't able to talk because my mouth would hurt moving! The only thing I kept thinking was what happened last year and that I didn't want to be back there again! It wore off completely after probably 2 hours or so.
It is the worst feeling ever! Just like the picture of the man above, you feel you can't catch your breath, light headed, numb, jittery, sweaty, freaking out. And I hate when people say to calm down, that's what I'm trying but I can't! I've tried breathing excercises and I guess maybe they help, but not when they hit hard. If I could give advice to those who suffer from anxiety/panic attacks...I wouldn't know what to say. I can't say it gets better because I mean I just recently had a big one. I guess all I can say is pray or hope that it gets over soon! And if you're alone, head outside, somewhere where if you feel horrible you know you can scream or tell someone. I'd say talk about other things and go for a walk, think happy thoughts, but that doesn't work for me either! Medication, I wouldn't take that just because it's not so severe with me, and plus you don't want to be taking harsh medication at such a young age. They told that to me, they told that to my mum regarding stress. So imagine my mum being too young to take pills, it'll probably kill us! I think what's important is just having something there with you that can support you through it all!
The only thing I liked about this experience, going to the cardiologist, was the view!