What My Anxiety Attacks Are Like [Mental Health Mondays]

Thankfully, I haven’t had an anxiety attack in a while. I used to get them frequently when I was in school and, on occasion, I’ll get the feeling that I’m going to have one, but tend to talk myself out of it. If I do have an anxiety attack though, this is what it typically feels like for me.

Mental Health Mondays: What My Anxiety Attacks Are Like | Anxiety | Generalized Anxiety Disorder | Mental Health | Mental Health Matters | Blogging | Creative Writing | RachelPoli.com

Hot Flash

Usually, when I begin to have an anxiety attack, I start to get a hot flash everywhere. I get clammy hands, sweaty everywhere, it’s gross. And it’s not a nice feeling either. I think I start to feel this way when I get overwhelmed and my body is trying to tell me to step outside and just get some air. When I begin to feel this way, I try my best to find a bathroom just to splash some cold water on my face or anything to cool myself down.

I love the summer, it’s my favorite season. I also would rather be hot than cold. However, that doesn’t help when I’m out in public and get hot. Sometimes I can’t tell if it’s the weather or I’m about to have an anxiety attack… in which case, I often work myself up to have an attack.

Shaking and Dizziness

These two go hand in hand sometimes. I’ll feel shaky and unsteady on my feet or get the feeling that the floor is moving or uneven. Then I’ll get dizzy and start to feel claustrophobic. I normally get this way in stores or restaurants. I felt this way all the time when I was in school. If I’m in a place that has little to no windows, then forget it. The entire room will be spinning for me.

I normally try to find a way out of where ever I am when I start to feel this way. Depending on the situation, I can sometimes stick it out, but I usually need to leave.

No Vision

If the anxiety attack gets far enough, I’ll lose my vision. I’ll basically blackout, but I’m not passed out. I’m still conscious and can hear things going on and such, but I just can’t see. It’s a weird thing and I don’t know if that happens to anyone else or not. Thankfully, it hasn’t happened in a while, but when it does, I just have to sit and let it pass. Once it does, I’ll be dizzy for a few moments while my body gets back to normal.

Shortness of Breath

This usually happens at any time, but mostly if the anxiety attack gets bad enough that I need to just let it pass and get through it. A million things can go through my head when I have an attack because it feels like I’m dying. Thus, shortness of breath. I also have asthma so mix that in with thinking I’m dying and… yeah.

Exhaustion

Once all of this is over, I’m down for the count for the rest of the day. It puts such a strain on my mind and body that I am super tired. The last thing I want to do is work, socialize, go anywhere, or do anything. It’s not fun.

Of course, tiredness comes with the package as a whole. Anxiety makes me feel tired all the time and having an attack just makes it worse.

Overall, anxiety attacks aren’t fun and I know people experience different things when they have an attack. I also know some are more severe than others. This is what I usually go through when I have an anxiety attack. Luckily, as I said before, I haven’t had one in a while. Usually, I tend to get them in the middle of the night too so at least it doesn’t interfere with work or anything else during the day. It doesn’t make it any less annoying though.

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5 thoughts on “What My Anxiety Attacks Are Like [Mental Health Mondays]

  1. I have a rash that shows up if I get too stressed or hot.

    But my actual anxiety attacks are the shortness of breath type. I feel like I don’t have enough air. In the beginning stages it will be just a case of feeling a bit claustrophobic, (even if I’m in a wide open space) and I’ll freak out if someone touches me, especially if I wasn’t expecting it. This can be tricky if we’re out and about, since being blind means I need someone’s help to get to somewhere where I can have some quiet time to get it under control, so I have to try and control the original anxiety issue, while also trying to control my urge to freak out because someone’s touching me to guide me to somewhere.

    If I fail, and can’t get it under control, it moves to feeling like something is wrapping itself around my chest and squeezing, and like I just can’t take air in to my lungs, no matter how big of a breath I take. That’s why my anxiety attacks have been known to trigger asthma attacks, because sometimes my attempts to take breaths – and feeling like I’m failing to do so – will actually mess up my breathing, triggering in asthma attack, because I’m asthmatic, and things that cause stress to my body – even if those things are my own body’s confusion about whether it can breathe or not – can cause asthma attacks.

    • Ugh, that’s awful. I have asthma as well but I’ve never had an attack. Thankfully, I don’t know what that feels like. The shortness of breath is awful though. You feel like you’re suffocating.

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