I nearly had a panic attack today. They seem to be triggered by a reminder or memory of a past traumatic experience.
I read in Dr Edith Eva Eger’s book “The Choice: Embrace The Possible” that years and decades after she has healed from her experiences as an Auschwitz survivor, she still has panic attacks when a siren, a guard, a fence triggers her memories of her traumatic experiences.
The book taught me that this is normal. It is not a sign that I have not healed. I am not broken. I am simply someone who has been through trauma, and this will continue to be with me for a long time to come, possibly for the rest of my life.
I doubt that the person I was with at the time noticed that i was having a panic attack. The symptoms were purely internal. The heart palpitations, the shortness of breath, the fear of losing control, the trembling and the dizziness.
I’ve learned that panic attacks go away on their own after 10-15 minutes. During this time, when the symptoms begin, I find that it helps to recognise the symptoms, to acknowledge that I’m having a panic attack, and just keep breathing, keep focused on my breaths, and remind myself that, this too shall pass.