The pace at which your heart usually beats has accelerated at lightening speed and the rhythm is rather irregular, the tightness forming in your chest becomes to feel as though an elephant is sitting on it. You feel hot yet cold at the same time and are sweating, you begin to experience pins and needles in your extremities and/or they’re throbbing. You have lost focus and all sense of realism by this point and the walls have started closing in. Claustrophobic, you realise a boa constrictor has a vice grip around your neck. Tight throat, dry mouth, struggling for air of which just won’t come, you panic even more, scared, feeling light headed and as though you’re going to faint, “Am I going to die? Am I having a heart attack?” Everything around you has faded in the absence of concentration yet your senses are on high alert. Everything is so loud and fast, smells are much more pungent and everything that you can feel is much more substantial. All the while, abhorrent thoughts are penetrating every new notion. Telling yourself that you’re a freak, weak, pathetic, an embarrassment and failure, “Why can’t I just be normal? Why am I so broken?”
This is more common than you probably think but is so frightening, disabling and lonely. Does this sound like you or somebody you love? If so then please read on to hopefully feel that you aren’t alone, pick up some new coping tricks or to learn about this and how to effectively help somebody who is feeling this way. Don’t disregard this as nothing – it could very well happen to you or a loved one someday. Actually, it most likely will.