Oh No! I Had a Panic Attack - Jacobīs Case
Panic attacks come rapidly, often without warning and in places you would never dream of having them. Understanding the triggers is the first step in preventing panic attacks. The good news is you can help yourself, you can manage and prevent your panic attacks and then change your lifestyle and thought process.
Jacob had always been a little shy, a little nervous, and a little reluctant to try new things. He approached life cautiously, he didnīt take too many risks, and he didnīt rock the boat. He had a good job, not a great job, he had a nice apartment, not a great one and he had some friends that he hung out with.
Life was good and he generally thought of himself as pretty happy. He wasnīt king of the world but he had a nice, steady life. One of his friends set him up on a date with a girl he knew. She was the friend of a girlfriend. Jacob was looking forward to the date, but understandably a little nervous. He had looked her up on facebook and she was cute.
They were meeting for dinner Thursday night, normally he wouldnīt have met a girl for the first time over dinner because he would be trapped if he didnīt like her but she had been pretty and he hadnīt been on a date in awhile and he figured why not just have dinner. He arrived shortly before 7:30 pm. He wanted to be there first, so he could prepare himself to meet her.
Unfortunately, she was already there in a pretty blue dress. He knew it was her, she looked even better than her picture. He walked over to her. He felt a little unsteady, a little lightheaded. His palms were sweating. Yuck! Better not shake her hand he thought.
"Hi Samantha, Iīm Jacob" he said. She smiled at him and held out her hand. "Hi Jacob, itīs nice to meet you" she said.
Jacob looked at her outstretched hand and knew he had to take it but his hand was so wet, what would she think of him? He started to breath more quickly, he felt like he had just run a 100 yard dash.
His heart began to beat suddenly and quickly. He could hear it in his ears. His heart was beating so loudly, he knew everyone could hear it. He was rubbing his hands against his pants to dry them off. He was looking around wildly. He saw Samantha looking at him, questioning him? "Whatīs wrong?"
He didnīt know what was wrong! He turned around left the restaurant and gulped the fresh night air. He continued walking down the street, determined not to look back, determined to escape, determined never to see Samantha again. This was the worst, most humiliating thing that had ever happened to him and he knew his friends would make fun of him for the next 100 years.
After a few more minutes he felt himself breathing normally, his heart was no longer exploding out of his chest. He thought about going back to the restaurant, explaining but that just caused his heart to race faster. He shoved that thought from his mind and went home. He was never going to go on a date with a pretty girl again!
Why did all of this happen? Jacob was frightened of having another panic attack. Anxiety can become crippling, ultimately leading to Generalized Anxiety Disorder or GAD or phobias, such as agoraphobia, a common companion condition to the attacks.
The good news is you can help yourself, you can manage and prevent your panic attacks. The key to preventing them is understanding the source of your anxiety and then managing your lifestyle and thought process.
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