A Typical Panic Attack, As Told By My Senses

A Typical Panic Attack, As Told By My Senses

It's time to get real and personal.

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Anxiety affects millions of people. Technically, every person experiences anxiety up to some extent in their lives. It might be feeling nervous before a big exam, a concert performance, or a competitive business presentation. For me, anxiety has always been a different story. I had my first panic attack when I was nine years old, sitting in my fifth-grade classroom. I went to the nurse's office because I thought I was sick with something, but little did I know that panic attacks would affect my life for years after that!

Panic attack symptoms vary for every single person. For me, it starts with a horrible, wrenching, worrying feeling deep inside my gut. My hands start to sweat; they get cold, clammy, and chaotic. My vision gets cloudy and blurry, which causes me to feel dizzy and confused. My stomach churns, there are millions of butterflies inside it that flutter, desperately trying to find peace. I feel so sick and worried, I start to hyperventilate and gasp for air. If it's a bad one, my legs restlessly tremble and I dry heave. My mind races rapidly, until it ultimately reaches the finish line. After about thirty to forty-five minutes, I am good. I can breathe again. Everything is fine.

The physical symptoms are not even the hard part about having panic attacks. The hard part is having to deal with it in public when I am busy with other people, or when I am all by myself and feel lost. I get panic attacks during class and work for no reason, because my stress builds up. It's difficult to hide for sure. Luckily, I have amazing people in my life who support and understand me so much, including family, friends, peers. My mom has really been my number one supporter every day and is a great listener. She would do anything for me; I am so grateful. As I grew older, I became a lot more comfortable with being open and talking about my anxiety.

Never judge anyone for their circumstances or how they act, because they may experience the awful feelings and tiresome struggle of panic attacks or anxiety. A lot of people who have met me do not know that I experience multiple panic attacks every day. Some people ask me why I'm jumpy, uptight or leave parties early. A manager at a restaurant I worked at even called me a "spaz" a few years ago. I want the mental health stigma to stop. I'm not afraid to talk about it anymore. What is there to hide?

Panic attacks are like mountain lions or wolves that sneak up on me during very inconvenient times. I realized that they are not dangerous, and are not a threat. For anyone who does struggle with anxiety or panic attacks, this is a wonderful thought to digest. You will be okay, you will get through this! Panic attacks are a real thing. You are stronger than you know. I am confident that one day I will be completely better, and minimize my panic attacks as much as possible. I am almost there. I refuse to fall prey to this lurking predator! My anxiety is not my fault and it does not define me. With the right stepping stones, I'm on my way to eliminating this!

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If You've Ever Been Called Overly-Emotional Or Too Sensitive, This Is For You

Despite what they have told you, it's a gift.
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Emotional: a word used often nowadays to insult someone for their sensitivity towards a multitude of things.

If you cry happy tears, you're emotional. If you express (even if it's in a healthy way) that something is bothering you, you're sensitive. If your hormones are in a funk and you just happen to be sad one day, you're emotional AND sensitive.

Let me tell you something that goes against everything people have probably ever told you. Being emotional and being sensitive are very, very good things. It's a gift. Your ability to empathize, sympathize, and sensitize yourself to your own situation and to others' situations is a true gift that many people don't possess, therefore many people do not understand.

Never let someone's negativity toward this gift of yours get you down. We are all guilty of bashing something that is unfamiliar to us: something that is different. But take pride in knowing God granted this special gift to you because He believes you will use it to make a difference someday, somehow.

This gift of yours was meant to be utilized. It would not be a part of you if you were not meant to use it. Because of this gift, you will change someone's life someday. You might be the only person that takes a little extra time to listen to someone's struggle when the rest of the world turns their backs.

In a world where a six-figure income is a significant determinant in the career someone pursues, you might be one of the few who decides to donate your time for no income at all. You might be the first friend someone thinks to call when they get good news, simply because they know you will be happy for them. You might be an incredible mother who takes too much time to nurture and raise beautiful children who will one day change the world.

To feel everything with every single part of your being is a truly wonderful thing. You love harder. You smile bigger. You feel more. What a beautiful thing! Could you imagine being the opposite of these things? Insensitive and emotionless?? Both are unhealthy, both aren't nearly as satisfying, and neither will get you anywhere worth going in life.

Imagine how much richer your life is because you love other's so hard. It might mean more heartache, but the reward is always worth the risk. Imagine how much richer your life is because you are overly appreciative of the beauty a simple sunset brings. Imagine how much richer your life is because you can be moved to tears by the lessons of someone else's story.

Embrace every part of who you are and be just that 100%. There will be people who criticize you for the size of your heart. Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are downright malicious. And the one thing people say to put you down is "you feel too much." Hmm...

Sounds like more of a compliment to me. Just sayin'.

Cover Image Credit: We Heart It

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Sorry Guys, Girls Actually Want Attention From Other Girls

Who else knows fashion, beauty, style, or looks better than other females themselves?

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Men are ya know, "great." We love 'em (somedays). Some girls cry over men, run their lives around men, and make life choices because of men.

But, why should we try to impress men? Men don't understand the time it takes to "beat our face" with makeup. Men don't understand the soreness our arms experienced to get these perfect curls. Some men don't understand how excited we are to score big in the Urban Outfitters clearance section.

Some ladies live by "beauty is pain." But sorry guys, they are not here to impress you.

Why would some ladies spend all the time, effort, and money for men, when some men can't distinguish mascara from lipgloss.

Women are trying to impress other women.

You ever get a compliment from a fellow female and they're like, "Girl, yes girl. The outfit, the hair, YES." Ladies understand and appreciate our efforts.

Do you think what ladies post on social media is to get men pouring in their DMs? No.

We are sharing pictures to inspire and create a group of women to be creative and stylish themselves. Us ladies are trying to build an empire of strong women, and we will not spend time just to look good for men.

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