It’s not easy for anxious people to have panic attacks in public. This is a private and personal thing; however, if these people don’t externalize it, they’re unaware.
It’s almost an art to try and hide it and many train themselves to function normally in front of others to that point if they reveal their anxiety to them, they will reply they had no idea.
It’s really hard to explain a panic attack to a person who hasn’t experienced it. But, let’s try.
How Does Anxiety Feel like to a Person Having a Panic Attack
Panic attacks are private, pre-verbal, and almost animalistic. And, no two individuals experience it in the same way. It’s not necessarily rocking back and forth while lying in fetal position.
Some anxious people may zone out and become catatonic and others may be unable to breathe. Others may have chest ache and some may start acting aggressively.
A person who has a panic attack describes it as a thought and feeling that either a catastrophic thing will happen or that they’ll die. Although it may look like too far-fetched to others, for the person experiencing it, it’s the realest thing ever.
It begins with wooziness and dizziness. The room won’t feel like spinning, but that person feels off and their blood is cold and a chill up their spine arises.
Many feel like they’re about to pass out and their thoughts running in their head are incomprehensible, with a lot of screeching and wailing.
They may begin to think ‘I’m going to die’ or ‘I’m about to die’. Everything feels too light and too loud and panic and despair arise.
What Happens with the Person Having a Panic Attack?
When a person has a panic attack, their bodies believe they’re about to die. And, the brain begins to send a rush of adrenaline into the blood, causing the heart to beat fast and sending more blood into the muscles.
The breathing becomes shallower and the blood sugar arises. The senses sharpen and the body is making an effort to confront the danger, without realizing there’s nothing to fear.
Indeed, people with panic attacks are warriors. They fight an unseen battle daily and know the ‘nature of the beast’. They rarely know when it will strike, but they’re facing it all.