Panic Attacks

by Noise Pollution

I had another panic attack today.

I felt like I’ve been pretty under control for a while now, but this is the second or third time this has happened this month, and I’m realizing that I’ve had a few more episodes than I thought I did; I just kind of swept them under the rug as moments of “stress” or “disorientation”.

See, I took a very short nap today, (maybe about twenty minutes) and woke up from it in a complete daze. When I came to, I found that I couldn’t remember much of anything, nor was I capable of checking on the things that I couldn’t remember. It’s hard to explain; it wasn’t full-on amnesia or anything, as far as I’m aware. I just couldn’t bring anything to the forefront of my mind besides worry. I couldn’t figure out what time it was, what day it was, what events had already passed, or what events were coming up in the future. Everything was horribly jumbled up, and it caused some real fear in me. I couldn’t figure out if I had already worked today, still needed to go to work, if I needed to work tomorrow, or if it was morning or evening or whatever. I had no sense of time or place. I also found myself unable to figure out how exactly where and when I was. I had no context for the date and time, so when I looked at it on my cell phone, it meant nothing to me. It didn’t help me figure anything out at all.

I sat in my bad and freaked out for probably about twenty minutes before my senses started coming back to me. First, I realized I had already gone to work today and that calmed me down quite a bit. I didn’t have to get ready for anything and there was nothing that I was at risk of being late for. The next thing I managed to piece together was that I had awoken from a nap and not a night of sleep, which is obvious in retrospect but I was incapable of figuring out at the time. After those two pieces of information came to me, I was able to truly calm down, after which the rest of my memories came back.

Still, what an absolutely harrowing experience. To add to that, it’s actually the second time it’s happened in the last month, and it’s happened several times over the last few months. After the moments pass, it’s very easy to sweep these things under the rug and pretend they were minor incidents, but I know they aren’t. They’re really awful and I need to talk to both my therapist and psychiatrist about them the next time that I see them.