“Keep calm and carry on.” That’s what everyone tells you to do, right? When your chest is hurting and it feels like you can barely breathe, just pretend everything is normal and fine, right? When your heart is sitting too heavy in your chest, and it feels as delicate as a piece of glass that can shatter upon hard impact—everything’s fine, right?
Well, I have never personally experienced these particular emotions but a conversation with a friend brought me to a startling and quite frankly worrying realisation, that even though people do smile outwardly that within they might be feeling anything but.
It is quite worrying to note that the pressure cooker that is society (family, work and school especially) has bizarre and often outrageous expectations that is ingrained within some individuals at a very young age, and to cope, cases like panic attacks and blackouts are used as defence mechanisms.
Sometimes these expectations are fostered out of love, to help develop a strong work ethic that would help the millennial succeed in school (work) and provide opportunities for a worthwhile future (which most often than not it does). But…like everything else there are always exceptions.
Uncommon as they may be, there are indeed instances when societal pressure comes to a head within the individual that results in them suffering panic attacks. If not dealt with delicately, some severe cases lead to suicide and sometimes even assault on people in their immediate surroundings.
A panic attack and its symptoms of tremendous anxiety can strike suddenly and out of the blue. While a panic attack itself may be brief, it can lead to a lasting fear of having another episode. When panic attacks and the fear of having attacks occur repeatedly, people are said to have a panic disorder or anxiety disorder.
“People have these panic attacks under various circumstances,” explains Martin N. Seif, PhD, a clinical psychologist in New York City and Greenwich, Conn. They constantly worry about having an attack and often avoid certain situations as a result.
There is thus, a real fear of the person withdrawing within and creating a barrier around themselves as a form of protection against people and situations that cause recurrence.
Therapy is a great way to help unbottle the pent up emotions within the individual. It is thus important to note that there are indeed Therapist who help in the management and sometimes even in some cases helping one rid themself of said disorder.
Above all else, it is important to understand and acknowledge that as people within a society we are allowed to be imperfect and to make mistakes, we are allowed to take time to focus on ourselves..And, maybe most of all, WE are allowed to breathe and just be human.