This Is What It Feels Like To Have a Panic Attack

by Hannah Henrickson for The Mighty
milos-kreckovic / iStock

Trigger warning: This post depicts a full panic attack.

Oh my God. It’s happening again.

My hands are clammy. Why am I sweating? It’s 30 degrees outside.

It’s okay. You’re fine. You’re fine.

I’m not fine! I can’t think straight. There’s too many thoughts. My brain is so full of thoughts. They’re racing. They’re moving too fast. I can’t even separate them from one another.

Yes, you can. Try harder.

But what if I’m forgetting something important? What if I’m spacing on something I need to do? I must be missing something. I must have forgotten something, something important. Oh my god, I’m freaking out. I’m freaking out. Why am I freaking out? Why is this happening again?

Oh my god, I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I’m going to die.

Yes, you can. You have control of your body. Concentrate on your breath. Slow down.

But I can’t breathe. My chest is tightening. I can’t breathe.

Yes, you can. Keep trying. You’ve got it.

No, I can’t. I can’t.

You’re still breathing, darling. Calm down. I need you to slow down.

No, I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t get air in. I’m suffocating. I can’t feel my hands and feet. Oh my god, my throat is closing up. Will someone please help me? I can’t breathe!

Did I take my medicine? What if I didn’t take my medicine? Oh my god, what if I’m going “crazy”? I can’t be going crazy. No, I can’t be going crazy. But what if I am anyway? That’s it, I’m losing it. This is how it ends. I’m dying. I can’t breathe. I’m dying.

Do you hear me? You’re hyperventilating. Slow down. Slow down, and please, just breathe.

Someone help me. I’m drowning. I can’t breathe. I must be drowning. I can’t feel anything. Why can’t I feel anything? Oh god, I’m dying. Somebody help me! Somebody please, for the love of god, help me. I’m dying. I’m dying. I can’t do this. I’m dying. Somebody help me, anybody, please.

You’re not dying, darling. But you need to slow down.

I’m dizzy. Everything’s spinning. My head hurts. Why does my head hurt? I must be dying. It’s too late. It must be too late. I can’t… I can’t… I can’t… I can’t even form thoughts. I can’t breathe… I can’t breathe…

I’ve got you. It’s okay. You’re safe. It’s okay. You’re okay. You’re not dying. You’re not dying. Do you hear me? You’re okay. I need you to stay with me. Please, stay with me. Come back here. Bring yourself back here. I know you can do it. You’re stronger than this.

You are strong, okay? Go to sleep, darling. You’re going to be all right. This too shall pass.

This post originally appeared on The Mighty.