I have been experiencing panic attacks since March of 2014. I had my first panic attack while sitting in my car, on a break at work. I was doing something innocuous like checking Facebook, and it hit me out of no where. My heart was racing, breathing was difficult, I was dizzy and felt like my head was 'in a bubble'. I remember clawing at my collar bone, feeling as if there was something there restricting my breath. I went back into work and continued my day through the feelings which came in waves. For the next 4 days I trudged through those feelings, thinking I was getting sick with a cold or something. I even tried taking a cold medication thinking it was mucous in my lungs making me feel like I couldn't breath. Taking this medication actually made me feel worse; I started panicing about taking a pill, and my symptoms worsened. I also had a severe stabbing pain in my left shoulder blade, and I managed to find one random website online that indicated that that could be a symptom of a heart attack. This only made me panic more, and again, my symptoms worsened. I still had not at this point even thought that I was experiencing a panic attack. Finally, when I could not walk more than 10 feet without having to sit down due to being dizzy and out of breath, I paniced, called my husband to come home from work, and went to Urgent Care (I did not have insurance at the time and did not want to pay out of pocket for something I was sure would pass). I was doubled over in the waiting room, convinced that I was going to pass out. The nurse came out and took my blood oxygen level, and I was fully oxygenated. I finally met with a doctor, who told me I was having a four day long panic attack and perscribed Xanax. My husband and I picked up dinner on the way home and I sat, staring at the pill, crying because I was so scared, until I finally took it. I felt 150% better. Everything was beautiful, I was on a fucking cloud lmao! It really did wonders.
Since that attack, I've had one almost on the dot every other Wednseday, with a few peppered in between. I have many mini ones as well where it feels as if a wave of anxiety hits me and then passes within a few minutes but they are not as severe as the heart racing, can't focus on anything else attacks. The mini ones are usually triggered by a pain in my chest on various sides, usually attributable to gas or muscle spasms (but that doesn't stop the panic, does it?). I try now to just recognize them as Panic Attacks and let them pass but it's not always easy. I also found a questionnaire online that I fill out everytime I'm in the midst of an attack. This helps me notice patterns and inconsistencies in my symptoms as well as helps me accuratly monitor the frequency of my attacks and mini attacks.