The First Anxiety Attack
I first want to state that I honestly have never had any form of panic, anxiety or emotional attacks. I have been depressed beforehand, but this was much different than that.
When we read a book or anything for the matter, we try to connect it to ourselves in order to get more involved and to get on a spiritual level with the text. We also do this while we are learning something new in school whether it be visual, hands-on, or through repetition. I've learned over time, that when I see a movie and a character is in pain or they are going through an obstacle, I mentally portray myself as the character to understand their emotions, pains, and thoughts. For example, when I saw the Notebook, I portrayed myself as the Older Noah when the audience learns that Allie has dementia and cannot remember her own love of her life even though he sits right across from her. The heartbreak that it must've brought him every day, but he would still fight through it because by reading the notebook to her, he would get her back for even a second and that seemed to be enough to make him happy.
I was watching an episode of "This Is Us", which is an amazing show, and the episode focused on how one character would work themselves into an emotional wreck. As the episode went on, the audience could clearly see that the character was becoming more and more affected from his actions, first starting with hand tremors that were hard to control, to having trouble speaking during an important meeting to finally sitting in a corner uncontrollably crying. While watching the episode, my own emotions had gone awry. I had begun to feel nausea and the room was starting to come in and out of focus. Continuing to watch the episode only seemed to make it worse, but I wasn't going to stop because the show is just that good.
After the episode had completed, I went into my room, but the world around me did not stop spinning. My hands felt clammy, my eyesight was unstable and my heart felt that it was pounding irregularly. I was going to get onto my computer and listen to music through my headset, but when I grabbed my headset, my hand wouldn't stop squeezing tightly onto the object like it was a stress ball. It was as though my hands had a mind of their own, I just couldn't stop them from squeezing. My breathing fluctuated from quick to slow and the pounding of my heart shot pain through my body.
The only thing going through my mind during all this was, "What is going on? What is this feeling that I'm going through and why is my body doing this?" I couldn't explain it the reason why my body was doing this other than I was portraying the character from the episode to understand their feelings.
After laying in bed for a minute with my eyes closed, the world finally came back. The room was silent other than the sound of the overhead fan spinning. My eyesight became stable, the pounding of my heart was almost non-existent, and breathing became normal. It was though nothing ever happened. I still do not know whether this really was a form of emotional panic or something else.