Panic Attacks have nothing to do with logic

Every once in awhile on those silly reality shows one of the participants has a panic attack. Everybody thinks they’re dying (including the panicking participant), they go to the hospital, and the next day they’re back, shamefaced. “It was only a panic attack.” Then you get all the people going “how stupid was that, he thought he was having a heart attack! Ha ha ha!”

Well, I never make fun of those, because you see, I too get the occasional panic attack. And nothing you can think with your brain can stop it.

I have an ectopic heartbeat (aka PVC). One of those “adds an extra beat every so often” ones. Not a big deal. Lots of people have those.

Last night as I was lying in bed (on my left side, of course) my heart went THUMP! with an extra beat. Normally, I make an annoyed noise and turn over so I can’t feel the darned things anymore or take a deep breath and tell it to go away. Last night, my body and brain decided to have a bit of fun with me and made me feel a bit light-headed after the THUMP and I got a weird prickling feeling on my skin (probably caused by a breeze from the open window.)

Result? The oldest part of my brain went “OMG! I’m having a heart attack!” and hit the Panic button. My logical, more evolved brain groaned and said “Oh bloody hell, not again. YOU’RE FINE. It was just a PVC.” Body didn’t listen and Fight or Flight went into full swing.  The heart started racing, I started breathing quickly, and I broke into a sweat.

It has nothing to do with logic. The whole time I’m thinking “This is so stupid. I’m fine, nothing’s wrong, I just need to calm down.” My body wasn’t listening. I had to go for a bit of a walk, get a drink of water, read a bit of a book.

Eventually the adrenaline wore off and my evolved brain was able to say “SEE? Nyah nyah nyah!” to my old brain and I was finally able to get to sleep.

It’s just no fun when your body takes over and there’s nothing you can do to fix it. And that’s why I don’t make fun of the people on reality shows who have panic attacks. I know it has nothing to do with logic.


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About Broot

Thoughts about learning and life that are lost in a sea of blogs.

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