How Bad Do Your Panic Attacks Get?

Discussion in 'Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)' started by janemariesayed, Sep 9, 2017.

  1. janemariesayed

    janemariesayed Junior Member

    This morning I had a flashback that took me to Egypt with the uprising there. I tried to say my current address out loud because doing that is supposed to bring you back into the present.

    It got really freaky because I couldn't remember my address. There I was fighting against unreality in motion without the means to reach back however hard I stretched. Eventually, I got the words out and managed to say my address out loud. As soon as I had done that the flashback stopped but left the rest of the symptoms to deal with in its wake.

    I felt dizzy and I couldn't get my breath. I thought I was going to throw up and felt tearful as well. After a quarter of an hour, I was still dizzy and breathless and starting to feel shaky. My whole body shaking and then my body started to make involuntary deep breaths. An hour later and I felt cold and was shivering and noticed that I was grinding my teeth.

    It's now two hours later and I still feel a bit weak. A little shaky but my breathing is almost back to normal now.

    So a flashback can last two hours with the other symptoms that it brings about before I am okay to carry on with normal tasks again. How do your panic attacks affect you all? How long do they last and what is it that brings them on?
  2. _Lukas

    _Lukas Member

    I'm so sorry that happened to you, that sounds so horrifying :(

    My panic attacks get really intense too. The best way I can explain it is that I feel like I'm going to die. Like I have a feeling that my heart is going to stop.
    My flashbacks can last anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours with varying intensity. The main thing that triggers my flashbacks is when I smell someone wearing the cologne that my abuser wore.
  3. janemariesayed

    janemariesayed Junior Member

    It is horrifying having flashbacks. Last week I was in a shoe shop and the lady asked my size. But suddenly I was a couple of thousand miles away in North Africa! lol My mind went blank and I knew I was going to go into a panic and get the shakes so I left quickly in case of embarrassment. Can you still smell the cologne after the person has gone past? Does your flashback go into movie land and take you back into that moment? How do you get out of it?
  4. _Lukas

    _Lukas Member

    Oh no, that sounds awful! :( I hope the lady was understanding about it.

    I can still smell it after the person has gone past, and the flashbacks do take me back into that moment. It's really hard to get out of it but the thing that works the most effectively is to hold my fiance's hand and have him tell me who he is and that he's not my abuser and that we're together now and my abuser is gone. Eventually that calms me down. He's really good about helping keep me grounded when I'm having a panic attack or flashbacks.
  5. janemariesayed

    janemariesayed Junior Member

    Your fiance does sound very understanding indeed and that makes me happy because he must love you very much. It is that love that will give you strength to overcome the difficult times.

    The lady in the shoe shop seemed to look at me blankly, I told her sorry I just had a flashback but she looked at me with a dum smile on her face. She didn't know what I was talking about. So it was quite funny really. I do try to see the funny side of this awful illness.

    Isn't it strange @_Lukas how the mind works? I am amazed that I can be here in 2017 minding my own business and doing my own thang, and then, suddenly I'm 2K miles away in a totally different year. I wonder how it is that our noses can smell an aroma that isn't there. Or how our minds can honestly believe we are somewhere else.

    It's my crazy two dogs that keep me grounded, and feeling loved and happy!

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