I have been dealing with anxiety and panic attacks for many years. I go through periods where they happen more often, and then I’m lucky enough to go through some periods where they decrease. I have learned that I need to accept the fact that they are a part of my life; the more I accept them, the easier they are to get through. I’m not saying they’re easy, just easier. It’s probably because I can recognize when I’m having an attack and do some of the things that help me feel safe. For example, I try to go somewhere I can be alone or only with people I’m extremely comfortable with. If this isn’t possible, I sit or stand with my back to a corner. I’m afraid someone is going to come up behind me, but if I’m sitting in a corner, then I know it’s not a possibility. If I’m in public, my husband will walk or stand behind me when I have an attack, that way I know the only person behind me is him, and he would never let anyone hurt me. Basically, I just try to put myself in situations that allow me to be comfortable. I’ve developed many different strategies over the years to help in almost any situation.
For a little while, I thought my attacks were lessening. Some of my symptoms were not occurring as often and some of them not at all. However, I had new symptoms begin, but I thought that they were physical health problems. I would get chest pains that would last for quite a while and my left arm, hand, and fingers would become numb and tingly. I assumed it was a heart problem. I told my psychiatrist eventually, and he asked me to get checked out. I did a full cardio and neurological exam and everything came back fine, but the symptoms never went away. I opened my mind to the idea that my anxiety and panic attack symptoms could have changed. It didn’t seem right to me, but that’s when I noticed that some of my previous symptoms were gone. I no longer get dizzy, nauseous, or have hot flashes. Some of the symptoms that I’ve had for years, such as trouble breathing, trembling, and overwhelming terror still occur, except now they happen with the new symptoms of chest pains and a tingling arm. It took quite some time for me to determine any pattern with the new symptoms, but I do see now that they along with some of the old symptoms.
I didn’t think it was possible to have the types of symptoms I experience with my anxiety and panic attacks to change over time. At least now I am aware of my symptoms again. This provides me with the ability to get to a comfortable place when the symptoms first start, which in turn helps to reduce the severity of my attacks. It also helps so I don’t end up having attacks in public places, at least for the most part. I’m curious to find out if others have experienced this same type of change.