A common misconception about people who have panic disorder is that they are weak, because only “weak” people develop mental disorders. This is entirely false.
Panic disorder is a mental and physical condition. Panic attacks are just as physical as they are mental. Some of the physical symptoms that are experienced include: rapid heartbeat, sweating, chills, hot flashes, dizziness, chest pain, stomach discomfort, feelings of choking or suffocation, light-headedness.
Did you know that when a “normal” person experiences a panic attack, they often end up in the emergency room because they think they are dying of a heart attack? They are sent home and told to take a day off to relax. Ha Ha. I remember my first panic attack..
I’ve had severe panic disorder since I was 12 years old. I’ve experienced more panic attacks in one day of my life than the average person will experience in their life time. This does not make me a weak person. The fact that I am 21 years old and still living my life battling panic attacks does not make me weak. I’m a stronger person now than I ever would have been if I never developed this disorder.
If you have never experienced a panic attack, it’s difficult to understand what panic disorder is like. I’ve had multiple people (who do not have panic disorder, but have experienced a panic attack in their life) tell me that they have no idea how I can deal with it everyday. And to that I say… “Yeah, I know. I’m a boss.”
If someone you know has panic disorder, do them a favor and do not look at them as weak. The people who get up every morning and face their crippling fears and worries are some of the toughest people out there.
To anyone who is reading this who does deal with panic disorder: Stay Tough.
P.S. A special thanks to my very good friend, who curb stomps his panic disorder and OCD every day, for inspiring this post.