All posts filed under: Anxiety Disorder

Panic Attack: The Movie

I couldn’t think of an answer at first, so I settled on: “It’s like I’m dying.” My brother looked off and tried to process the claim, but the only thing he could come up with was, “Oh.” Not his fault. My response was too big and vague and who the hell even knows what dying feels like anyway unless they’ve already done it? But it made me wonder if a panic attack is the kind of experience that can ever really be conveyed to someone whose brain doesn’t work like that. (Correction: doesn’t break like that.) Thing is, when a panic attack hits me, it doesn’t feel like my brain is messed up — it feels like my entire body is. My muscles seize up and start to shudder. My chest tightens. My stomach clenches. My veins constrict. I can’t breathe. I need to get outside because the walls are too close, but I can’t move my body to make it happen. If it’s especially bad, I will literally whimper the word “help,” even if …