I have a panic disorder, and it’s perfectly fine, and most people that are close to me have no idea. I mean, just to get that out there, so you don’t think I’m a freak of nature or anything 🙂
The thing is, I get panic attacks occasionally- I’m talking maybe 4 times a year, at max. Panic attacks are different than being stressed out, or having anxiety or anything. For me, they’re relatively unpredictable, but are usually related to the idea that I have lost control- whether I’m without physical control of my surroundings and feel physically trapped, or just generally feel like I’ve lost some amount of control in my life, or over a particular situation. Making it a little more complicated, these can be real situations or just my perception of things- I can panic over being trapped in the grocery store, even though I’m perfectly fine and have plenty of personal space and exit strategies, just because my mind has decided that it is a good time for a panic attack.
When I have a panic attack, it comes on super suddenly and usually involves intense terror, certain doom, inability to breath or I’m breathing way too fast, leading to hyperventilating, heart racing, dizziness, shaking…pretty much, all the worst things you can think of, all at the same time. While some people tend to succumb to these attacks and kind of wallow in them, I can usually recognize that the problem is not real and everything is fine and talk myself out of them. The problem is, talking myself out of them takes a solid twenty minutes freaking out and gasping sobs before I can move on, and even then there’s a period of a few hours where I still feel kind of out of it, so if my mind wanders backwards, I could totally be sucked back in. It’s really awesome, as I’m sure you can tell.
Anyway, for as bad as it can seem to just lay all of this out there, it’s really not a big deal. It’s so rare, and I know what’s going on so I can work myself out of it, and it’s not like it prevents me from going out into public or anything…mostly it’s a nuisance. But…I’m really, exceptionally concerned that an attack is going to manifest itself at some point during our wedding, either at a shower, or the rehearsal, or the wedding itself. I’m an epic planner, to avoid as much stress as possible, and going to yoga on the regular keeps me pretty mellow, and I keep mentally walking through everything so I feel very prepared (and therefore, in control) but I just wonder- is something unanticipated going to trigger an attack?
So, does anyone else worry about this kind of thing? Or maybe I’m just nuts 🙂