Living with Panic Attacks

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Over the course of the last few weeks I have gone through a series of tortuous panic attacks that have hampered my ability to think or get anything done. They are such a huge burden to have, especially considering the abundance of other things to worry about as a result of Asperger Syndrome.

There is no way to concisely explain how frustrating having these panic stricken moments take place, they simply eat away at my brain and take such a strong hold over my mind and body to such an alarming extreme. I hate them and can’t help but feel my life would have been spent much more productively over the course of the last few years considering how much of an impact they have on my capacity to think and complete certain tasks.

It all started to unfold last week when I decided to start volunteering at a local book shop in order to pass time and keep busy as I continue my pursuit of employment. There are of course a number of triggers that come with starting something new in the shape of meeting new people and learning an alien routine that needs to be fully understood.

Bizarrely, everything seemed to be ok when I was actually amongst other people and being handed jobs to get completed. I was working half days and came back home to plough on with the wondrous task of job hunting and ringing up recruitment agents. This is when things always start to take turn for the worse and put me into a spiral of negativity and pain.

Perhaps it’s the isolation that comes from being home alone, or the fact job hunting is a task that has so far given me a sizeable amount of anguish and despair. These triggers are potentially creating a wave of familiar thoughts that my brain have interpreted to be bad for the way my mind is currently functioning. I always find that once I’ve had bad experiences with people or certain tasks, I find immense difficulty in glossing over the pain of the past.

Its interesting how working in the book shop was a great source of escapism and gave me a clean and fresh perspective on each day. So far nothing has gone wrong and everything about the shop is enshrined with positive energy and people who have been incredibly friendly and welcoming. Its like a safe haven that has reassured me that there are parts of life that can distil some much-needed harmony within my thoughts.

In terms of the experience of having panic attacks, I would honestly not wish them even on my most hated enemies. Whilst in a state of negativity, I am questioning pretty much everything and cannot rationalise my mind to realise that this is simply a phase and will pass on in the future. All the bad moments from my past are suddenly thrusted into the spotlight, giving me feelings of regret, doubt and a sense of disbelief.

A dark cloud is residing within my mind and won’t leave until it has left a damaging scar that hurts my well-being and chances of getting anywhere during the day. I almost need a trained Wizard to summon a powerful spell to rid this plague and give me my soul back. The best analogy would be the Dementors in Harry Potter that represent pain and misery. Only by casting a positive force in the form of a Patronus Charm can they be blasted away and out of sight.

The other issue is being able to decipher whether any panic attacks are reactionary or something that is unfortunately part of your DNA. If I look back at my past, then generally they would only take place whilst I’m experiencing a bad moment, however I can certainly point to a number of holidays that have been hampered by sudden surges of anxiety.

Only time will tell whether this is a phase or the way my life has panned out is creating a weak and flimsy platform in which my mind can operate. I constantly question whether having millions in the bank and holiday homes scattered across the Globe would permanently rid negativity once and for all. I’m not personally convinced and believe pursuing absolute happiness whilst on Earth is a near damn impossibility.

Do you suffer from anxiety or panic attacks? I would love to hear your thoughts and stories either in the comment section, or by contacting me here directly on The Asperger Chronicles.

 

 


5 thoughts on “Living with Panic Attacks

  1. Yes, I have experienced anxiety attacks that recently took me to the ER. Thankfully there is nothing wrong with my heart . But I continue to experience palpitations , lightheadedness , shortbread of breath , once in a while. Doctors think it’s anxiety so I’ve been trying to take steps to minimize the symptoms . It’s been a struggle though. I’ve been prescribed Anti anxiety medication but I prefer to use alternative solutions. What do you think ?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Noel,

      Thank you for getting in touch 🙂

      I always find the best way to combat panic attacks is to either exercise or undertake something that involves being around other people.

      Breaking a sweat will relieve any negative feelings, and being in the comfort of trusted individuals will ensure you are not feeling isolated.

      Medication can work if you are experiencing an extreme level of anxiety, however they do come with side effects like prolonged periods of fatigue.

      I’ve written something here that applies to depression that could help you out – https://theaspergerchronicles.com/2019/04/24/the-best-ways-to-combat-depression/

      Sorry for late response, hope this helps.

      Best wishes.

      Like

  2. Hi Lewis, I deeply empathize with you, and appreciate the dementor analogy (and your Harry Potter post, too). Hunting for a job is a full time job in itself, and it’s often filled with rejection or worse – radio silence. I had a friend who applied to over 100 jobs to no avail. That was years ago and she’s long since found a wonderful position working at a nonprofit dealing w those experiencing homelessness and is rising through the ranks. It’s important to remember that lack of response while job-hunting is often not personal. For better or worse, I find it’s more so about “who you know”.

    As a fellow sufferer of panic attacks I too wonder if this is just the rest of my life and grow discouraged. One peace of mind though is that you’ll never be alone – you’ve got folks like me going through it right there w you.

    Best of luck.

    Liked by 1 person

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