I think trying to have others understand what Panic Disorders and other mental illnesses are like, they need to understand the struggle. This is from a journal I have been writing……….
I was walking home, and when I was within a block or two I fell down and thought I started to spasm. I do not actually know if I was, but it felt like my body was somehow becoming detached from my brain. Like nothing was real. My heartbeat ramped up-not as I had experienced before, but faster and harder. I was not aware of any other sounds or anything happening around me. My heart was the only thing I was aware of. It felt like it was an engine, revving up at an incredibly high speed. I tried to stand, but instantly fell back down. I did manage to roll into a ditch on the side of the road, and lay there for a while. I do not have a great description for what I was feeling, but all of a sudden the only thing I could think of was death. I had not been thinking about it before, but now it was all I could think of. I knew I was dying. Right there. I KNEW it. My mind was racing with the possibilities of how and why. The level of panic I had is hard to describe. If you were ever put in a situation where you were extremely worried about dying-like having a gun pointed at your head, or lost control of your car and drove off a cliff-if you had something happen to you that put you in a full blown escape/panic mode, that was it. I was not in a situation where anything around me was frightening me, but I still was convinced I was dying. I called for help, but there was nobody around that late at night.
Someone help! I can’t feel my legs, I can’t move my arms! My heart is giving out, I need an ambulance! Someone, anyone-PLEASE! Oh my God, I can’t take this. I am going to explode, and make myself crazy. Am I crazy? Help ME!!!!!!
I would just lay there for a while, shaking and thinking I was being punished for something-what I had no idea. I tried to get up a few times and was finally able to keep my legs sturdy enough so that even though I was shaking I could walk home, which I did. I managed to get in the house without anyone seeing me and got right in to bed. I spent the next several hours in what amounted to the fetal position, my mind racing with negative thoughts about why I was being punished, and what would happen. Was there a Heaven? A Hell? And which one would I go to that night. I hope it won’t cause a lot of grief or pain to my family. I did not see my life flash before my eyes, but I did relive it in my mind a few times. However, none of it was the good parts. It was just thoughts that terrified me and I could not explain why that was, or stop them. I didn’t stop shaking until I eventually fell asleep…………