My personal experience with social phobia and panic attacks


In my previous post I copy-pasted some info on both conditions (although panic attacks are part of social phobia but can also happen in other situtaions). now I’m going – or try to since it’s pretty hard – talk about me experiences.

The reason why this is such a huge topic on my blog right now, is, that for the past month I’ve been experiencing all of this as strongly as ever. I’d like to talk about it to you to help me but I also hope it provides you with infos in case you need them. Also consider, whether you are a victim of SAD and try to seek help because this condition is living hell.

My symptoms:

-uncontrollable trembling
-muscle stiffness and tension
-inability to walk or only being able to walk very stiffly
-extreme fear that everone around you is watching you and noticing your ‘weird’ behaviour
-extreme anxiety and fear that someone might say something to hurt you or insult you or send you to mental ospital
-extreme fear of falling, it feels like you’re going to collapse every minute
-extreme pressure to ‘make a good impression and act normal to not make people notice you’
-memory gaps
-slow talking as if in trance
-un-definable panic

….and many more.

Trying to describe a day of panic attacks and anxiety:

Imagine your outside your flat/house and you’re walking along the sidewalk. You feel observed and judged by everyone, especially those (this is something you might realise at some point or in therapy) who remind you of people/groups who used to mob you. I my case that’d be pupils, anyone between age 11-17, males from foreign cultures, little children. There is a reason why I’m afraid of these groups of people: those were the ones who used to make fun of me when I was a child and later, teenager.

So, back to your panic attack: everyone’s staring at you due to your trembling and weird behaviour ….sure, they always look at you like that anyways but now you are so visible to everyone that they can’t help noticing your weird behaviour. So you start to panic even more because you don’t want any sort of attention, you want to be left alone and allowed to be the person you really are without other people making fun of you. But it feels like you’re just not allowed to you. So you try to put on your perfect little girl facade but it’s not helping. Because your thoughts are focused on the anxiety and weirdly enough, the more you try to gain control the more you get anxious and are going through all those typical panic attacks symptoms. You wished there was some sort of hidden tunnel where you could escape or that you had an invisibility cloak like Harry (cf. Harry Potter, vol. 3). But there isn’t. So you have to make your way through this crowd of people. Actually you feel comfortable in crowds because they make you feel like everyone’s s busy and occupied with not falling over each other so they obviously judge you less.  

At some point you can’t move because if you do you’ll be shaking like ...something abnormal…and draw everyones attention towards you. Congratuations if at this point you’ve made it to your destination(flat/supermarket/library/school/uni/meeting place with friends…. this for sure wasn’t easy and it might feel like a miracle you’re still alive nor locked up in mental hospital.

If you’ve made it home to your flat you plan on never leaving it again. You have no idea how to face strangers who might judge you you. Since you have an eating disorder, moving/exercising is all you want to do. But you can’t. Because you don’t just have a eating disorder. You have SAD. And the whole situation makes you feel like you’re a fly caught in a spider’s web.

If you haven’t already, you now take the substance that helps you through this. For me, it’s alcohol. It makes me feel confident and strong and I stop noticing so much what going on around me. It’s easier now to focus on walking from A to B. Of course now you think what if I fall because I’m drunk. But if you did you probably wouldn’t care. Because everything in your brain is just numb and there’s this slight smile on your face. Because for a short while you feel sort of happy and content. You know it’s not going to last…..

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