They call us drama queens and attention seekers because they think that we are faking our panic attacks. Well, listen up! Panic Disorder is real, and it is a mental health issue experienced by many moms all over the world. In fact, the ADAA or Anxiety and Depression Association of America reported that 40M American people over the age of 18 are suffering from anxiety (panic disorder is a form of anxiety disorder).
Panic Disorder is also plaguing millions of individuals. To date, at least 6M Americans have been diagnosed with the disorder. Women are more prone to having Panic Disorder or PD, as compared to men. So, yes, moms are more likely to suffer panic attacks, and it is scientifically proven. We are queens, but that doesn’t mean that women fake their episodes. Nobody wants to suffer from a mental health condition, most especially panic disorder. I believe in Terrie Moffitt, Ph.D., when she says ” in some people anxiety, grows out of proportion and becomes disabling.”
What Is Panic Disorder?
You feel this intense fear for no reason, and at times it will just come out of you. It will terrorize you and render you helpless. You will have an attack, even in a public setting, which is not a pretty sight. Your heart will beat really fast, and you will be sweating. For some, they will experience shortness of breath, and even their bodies will tremble. Constricted chest, nausea, stomach aches, dizziness, numbing sensation, feeling of losing your head, and fearing death will come any time – these are just some of the symptoms of PD.
We, the moms with PD, don’t like feeling this way. Who wants to experience these fears and attacks? No one, but it happens. When it does, we won’t tell our loved ones about it for fear of getting rejected or criticized. Therapists said that moms with PD keep these thoughts in mind.
Sometimes, Moms With PD Can’t Figure Out The Triggers.
There are times when a panic attack can happen during a party, where there are too many people. But when I am at a mall or a grocery store, where there are lots of people around me, I don’t have an episode. It can occur anytime, and anywhere. I can’t predict when it will come out of me.
It Is Difficult To Control Once The Attack Is Happening.
If we have a panic attack, don’t interrupt us or try to “help” by cutting the episode short. There is no shortcut to this, and it will be best to let the episode take its course. In a few minutes, my fear will die down, and I will go back to my normal state.
You Just Don’t Know How Humiliating It Is For Us To Panic In Public.
The stares that I get from people during and after the attack brings me down even more. It is so humiliating – them thinking that I am crazy. I hate it even more after the attack especially if my kids are with me during the episode. The disorder makes me upset and confused for no reason, so please, be kind to me after the attack.
Please Don’t Judge Us.
We are not crazy. It just so happens that our body has a hormone problem which causes the disorder. “And if you personally suffer from anxiety, you’re at an even greater risk of dealing with panic attacks, licensed clinical psychologist Alicia H. Clark, Psy.D. explains as well. It could also be that we have experienced a traumatic event which led us to exhibit PD symptoms. The surroundings that we have lived before also affects our mental health issue. Please, don’t judge us.
We Can’t Calm Down During An Attack, So Don’t Keep On Saying It.
As mentioned earlier, once the attack is happening, we can’t control it. We can’t calm down. So please, don’t expect us to relax after you say it.
Your Help Is Needed.
Please help me, in a way, when I am having an attack. Secure my kids. Give me space, air, or water – whichever I ask of you. Hold me, if I say that I need to be held. Let me go if I want to be alone.
After The Attack, I Will Be Exhausted.
The whole ordeal is exhausting. All my energy is consumed by that 5-minute attack, and I will be very weak right after that. During the episode, I am on a fight or flight mode, but after it passes, I will be drained, mentally, physically, and emotionally.
Even With Treatment, I Can Still Experience Attacks.
“Generally, panic attacks have more severe physical symptoms, whereas anxiety attacks are more of a slow burn,” says Craig Sawchuk, Ph.D., Treatment may help, but it will never wholly eliminate my disorder. No amount of medication or sessions with the therapist will magically make it disappear. It is our cross to bear forever.
(If ever you see a person suffering from a panic attack or has panic disorder, please remember these thoughts.)