I was reading Catatonic Kid's account of a panic attack she suffered last night and it got me thinking about the ones I get, as few and far between as they maybe. Thankfully they are not as intense as hers (why do I feel bad saying that?) but they are still debilitating to a certain extent.
The major trigger for the most part being crowds. For the most part I hate crowds okay let me qualify that statement, I hate crowds in enclosed places, malls - trust me walking from one end of a mall because you have parked you car far away whilst hyperventilating and having strangers brush against you as they pass, especially during school holidays when all the children are there is anything but pleasant. Supermarkets especially those with small aisles which is why I am doomed to forever shop at Tru Valu and Hi Lo even with the price differences (I once handed a woman the bag of potatoes I was collecting because it was crowded and had started to hyperventilate), small stores...okay I hate small stores period no matter how many people are in them, I feel as if the walls are closing in on me and need to get out asap.
Paradoxically I have no problems with large crowds in the open places such as the street. For instance I was able to "play mas" for carnival this year with no problems at all, believe me when I told the SU I was indeed playing mas he looked at me and said "you?". I can also go to clubs and have a good time if we get there early when there is a small gathering and others follow afterwards, giving me time to adjust bit by bit...yes this may mean that we almost open the place but hey whatever works right. Clubs that hold parties on their rooftops get an A++
There are other triggers of course, but there are times when there is no obvious trigger and I feel one coming on. The racing thoughts and elevated heartbeat tend to be dead giveaways, can't think why. Feelings of dread quickly follow along with the shortness of breath fun stuff fun stuff...unlike Catatonic Kid I don't want a lobotomy at that point, I want a gun to the head, please please please put me out of my misery...Dr. Korvorkian where art thou?
Because they don't come on very often and are not severe, I don't have anything to take to quell them. I ride them through and make it out the other side, mostly in one piece. There is the rare occasion that I could feel them coming on and then take steps to try to nip it in the bud, I've been successful in this venture the last couple of time, lets just hope it continues to be so *knocks on wood*