The symptoms of an anxiety or panic attack can look different from person to person
An anxiety attack or panic attack is the abrupt onset of an intense feeling of fear or discomfort — and the rapid build-up of these intense feelings can present themselves in a variety of ways. One Twitter user wants to shed light on what this can look like from person to person — and it definitely hit home for those who suffer from anxiety attacks.
In popular culture, anxiety attacks are often represented as bouts of shaking, rocking oneself back and forth, sweating, and breathing-into-a-paper-bag scenarios. While this are all accurate representations for some people, for many others anxiety and panic can look wildly different.
ANXIETY ATTACKS ARENT ALWAYS HYPERVENTILATING ROCKING BACK AND FORTH
Sometimes they can be bouts of rage, moments of complete silence, nit-picking, fast paced talking…. there are so many forms of anxiety attacks. Just because it’s not ‘conventional’ doesn’t mean it’s not real
— Petiteelliee (@petiteelliee_) May 28, 2018
“Sometimes they can be bouts of rage, moments of complete silence, nit-picking, fast-paced talking…there are so many forms of anxiety attacks,” says Twitter user @petiteelliee_. “Just because it’s not ‘conventional’ doesn’t mean it’s not real.”
Her tweet quickly went viral, clearly resonating with a ton of people.
This! My doctor didn’t believe that my fainting spells had anything to do with my anxiety and sent me away telling me to hydrate myself 😒— Sare 📸 (@ohitssare) May 28, 2018
I usually get unusually angry when anxious and everyone just thinks I'm being grouchy (if I had a dollar for every time I've been told "you're so grouchy today.") Like no???? It's honestly the most frustrating thing when people think anxiety attacks look like in movies.— Kayyyyyllllyyyynnnnnnn (@QMacInerneyQ) May 29, 2018
*Raises hand* I know I can relate heavily to the angry/agitated side of anxiety. It’s a relief to know I’m not alone.
I found out that there are such things as "anger attacks" it's like an anxiety attack but instead of uncontrollable fear, it's a seething rage, heart rate goes insane and breathing is hard.— cait (@N0vak08) May 29, 2018
I once went to the hospital bc I had serious chest pains and thought I was straight up dying or some shit; nope. Just an anxiety attack. It can be really frustrating when that kind of thing happens and you have no idea that its just your anxiety 😫— icarus || #saveODAAT (@logssh) May 29, 2018
Wow you guys opened my eyes. I’ve had anxiety and my episodes range from crying to pacing. I’m pregnant and recently I have fainting spells. didn’t understand why because I would be inside but I was uncomfortable with the big crowd. Didn’t realize it could be an anxiety attack.— spooky pizza girl 🕸🍕👻 (@songsbyave) May 30, 2018
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America says “panic attacks can occur unexpectedly during a calm state or in an anxious state. Although panic attacks are a defining characteristic of panic disorder, it is not uncommon for individuals to experience panic attacks in the context of other psychological disorders. For example, someone with social anxiety disorder might have a panic attack before giving a talk at a conference and someone with obsessive-compulsive disorder might have a panic attack when prevented from engaging in a ritual or compulsion.”
When mine gets bad enough to prompt an attack, it manifests itself as uncontrollable shivering even it I’m wrapped up warm and not actually cold. It’s scary. Typically lasts about 20-30 mins before it stops. Fortunately hasn’t happened often. But I know what it is now.— Tracy Playle (@tracyplayle) May 28, 2018
It took me forever to realize that me getting super irritable and snappy seemingly at random was actually an anxiety attack. I've only experienced the "typical" hyperventilating and crying once or twice, otherwise I get snappy or withdrawn.— Gem (@gem_k_) May 30, 2018
Last week, I was on vacation with my immediate family and in-laws. It was the first vacation my husband and I were able to organize and pay for ourselves and it felt really nice to be able to do that. We were looking forward to it for months. While we made some amazing memories with everyone — our toddler especially — there were a handful of periods where my anxiety peaked and I became agitated, on-edge, and unable to relax. I fielded multiple, “Are you alright? Are you mad about something?” questions all week, which only made me feel shame at being unable to control my reaction to my anxiety.
Viral threads like this one are important because it helps enlighten us all a bit about anxiety attacks, and hopefully leads to more empathy for those who deal with them regularly. Because sometimes, we don’t even know we’re in the middle of a bout of anxiety when we’re having one.
My anxiety attacks are like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.— Sarah Slaymaker (@SlaymakerSarah) May 30, 2018