A common phrase that is thrown about is ‘Oh my god, I think I just had a panic attack!’. This type of phrase is chucked into conversations when someone is perhaps feeling a little nervous or apprehensive about a something. If you are one of these people who uses this sentence in this manner then I just hope that within this post, I can persuade you to use an alternate phrase and help you understand how panic attacks affect the lives and sufferers of panic disorders on a daily basis. If people stopped using this phrase then the stigma on panic attacks may begin to reduce and panic disorders may be taken just as seriously as they should be.
Firstly, I’ll begin my explaining exactly what a panic attack is. A panic attack is that in which the body experiences a huge rush of physical and psychological symptoms such as sweating, nausea, heart palpitations, feelings of faintness, a sense of overwhelming fear, and much much more. Panic attacks affect people differently depending on the severity of the attack that they are experiencing however it is usually agreed among medical professionals that there is almost always at least three symptoms that the sufferer is experiencing at one time. Even though a panic attack doesn’t cause any long term psychical harm, it can harm someone psychologically and leave them feeling rather on edge for a while afterwards. Every single people has had a feelings of panic or anxiety at one point in their life, as it is the body’s natural reaction to any situation in which it feels to be stressful or dangerous, however panic attacks go much further than just feeling a little anxious.
A panic disorder is when someone has regular or recurring episodes for no apparent reasons. According to statistics, 1 in 50 people in the UK suffer from a panic disorder, making it not as rare as you may believe. A panic disorder can also lead to a number of different mental health issues, and can also make people feel scared and that they may never recover from the disorder, no matter how much support they have from family and friends. Panic disorders cause you to feel extremely agitated, and constantly concerned as to when the next will occur. It is a truly horrific thing to endure day in and day out, and I wouldn’t wish on my best friend, nor my worst enemy.
I hope now you understand why using the phrase ‘panic attack’ as an adjective can be very frustrating to those who have to deal with the consequences of it day in and day out. I understand that many people do not understand the true meaning of a panic attack, however once they do, they try not to use it which in turn, makes me very grateful, therefore, if after reading this post you decide not to use it in such a casual way, and have a bigger, wider understanding then I wish to thank you for that. We need to end the stigma of panic disorders and start taking them much more seriously.