Someone close to me had a full-blown panic attack – their first one. This happened a few weeks ago and I have been debating on whether or not to write about it. Outside of my husband I haven’t talked to anyone regarding the event. I realize now that I don’t want others to think this person is weak. I don’t want them to look at this person any differently than they do now and I know if they were to hear that a panic attack took-hold then the whispers would begin. What does this mean for me? I didn’t realize I was so protective of this disorder. Outsiders not allowed. If you haven’t had an attack you can’t be a member. I have encountered many people who’ve said they’ve had a panic attack but the words themselves have become watered down, used in every day language so as not to have the proper definition attached to them. I can tell the ones who have had real panic attacks and those who haven’t by the sound of their voice, their body language and their eye movement. The person I witnessed having the attack said it was the worst they have ever felt in their life. I watched as all the color drained out of their face and they asked me to not talk. Their lips turned white and sweat formed on their forehead. Their hands were shaking. Although these were the outward signs of the attack, I know that their physical and mental state were in silent chaos. It lasted ten minutes. Afterwards they told me of wanting to give in and pass out. A seemingly easy fix. We talked for a bit about the trigger and coping. We sat in silence for a bit and then fifteen minutes after the attack ended they were on their way as if nothing happened. Amazing. I would be waiting for the next one to occur. This is definitely not a weak person.
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