How Panic Attacks Have Ruled 2018

An Update on my Panic Attacks

I have been working as hard as I can to prevent the panic attacks that I have been dealing with on a weekly basis. My triggers are vast or so it seems and my worst times change over time or month to month, but one thing is clear. Panic attacks have ruled my 2018, and it sometimes feels that there is no end in sight.


I have chronicled before on this blog that the time between 4 pm and 7 pm is one such section of my day where my anxiety levels are high. As per my therapist, I have been working in five minutes of mindfulness breathing to tackle this section of my day. It has been months since I have experienced a panic attack during this time period. The problem is that as long as I continue to stay in my safe place at home, I still deal with elevated anxiety when I leave my house.

What is interesting is that I am most things are right during the morning hours. It was one reason why I decided to wake everyday at 5 am. As soon as that gets back on track, I will get my essential things done in the morning and give my self some rest and leisure time to say read a book.

My other issue comes at night just before I am getting ready to go to bed. It has been especially hard to deal with my anxiety at night and while it’s not a panic attack every night (it happens almost twice a week) but I get really close. I do my best to tackle the issue head-on with mindfulness breathing but if my anxiety is already spiraling it can be a problem.

I have so many triggers for anxiety, and I haven’t even talked about my social anxiety when I leave my house. For the most part, I am learning about my avoidance behaviors that I use, but it hasn’t helped me leave my home more than a few days a week. I still have to always have my Ativan on me and water. My trips have been short, and for the last two weeks, I haven’t gone to my favorite coffee shop.

I hope to change that this week.

Anxiety indeed rules my life. I can honestly deal with depression so much better. When I am in a full-blown panic attack, I lose myself. My heart begins to race. The numbness reaches first my fingertips and then my hands. I start to hyperventilate. I pace so fast and yet I want nothing but to sit. I can’t breathe, and it freaks me out— I am losing control, and it’s the worst feeling in the world.

My latest trigger for my panic attack was several things all at once. I was apprehensive about the start of a new semester. I had an early morning appointment I could not miss. Then there’s the added stress of finishing my memoir and the prospect of moving to a new place this month.

Life is coming at me fast, and I always think I have more time than I actually do. I wanted so bad to ultimately be back on track by this week, but it’s starting to be a struggle.

My major goal of 2018 was to get my social anxiety back under control. Five months has changed some of my general stress and social anxiety but it’s not where I wanted to be, but I will reassess this week and try to figure this stuff out. I wanted to be in a different place come May. I have so much to look forward this summer.


Always keep fighting.


Photo Credit:

unsplash-logoJohannes Plenio

unsplash-logoClay Banks

unsplash-logoEzra Comeau-Jeffrey

26 thoughts on “How Panic Attacks Have Ruled 2018

  1. Hi James, I have been there, and am there with you. I have the opposite problem where my mornings are my hardest times. Something that helps me during that time is to get the energy out because it feels explosive- perhaps you could try stretching or doing some exercise. I wish you strength and perseverance!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Thank you for sharing! That sounds so intense 😦 I’ve never been clinically diagnosed with anxiety, but for several weeks very recently, I had almost daily waves of anxiety that were so intense I sometimes felt like I had to stop working. When I broke up with my boyfriend, they stopped completely! I know sometimes panic attacks happen even without an explicit “stimulus”, but maybe yours are being precipitated by a chronic stress that you can change (?).

    When I start feeling bad at night I ligt weights or run until my body is too exhausted to feel angsty, take a super hot bath, and then watch Parks and Recreation —- it is guaranteed to make me lolz. I’m not a clinical psychologist though, so if this isn’t helpful please ignore! I’m also not trying to stress you out by suggesting “you’re not doing enough” or annoy you if you’ve already tried these and they didn’t work.. I have just found these practices extremely helpful and wanted to share in case you found any of them helpful as well. Rooting for you! Hang in there!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. It is hard to stay on track, as life throws so many curveball. And getting back to where you want to be can seem so insurmountable to me at times. I deal with a lot of “should” guilt that makes me want to give up. It is cathartic when others like you share ypur struggles. Compassion to myself as well as others.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you. That is why I write. I know the feeling of so many struggling each day. I wish I had more helpful tips on how to avoid anxiety. I am still working on my cognitive behavioral therapy.


  4. This article was really helpful. It never occured to me to break down my anxiety levels on the daily in addition to seasonal. Mornings are glorious comparatively for me as well. This insight inspired a little bit of gratitude in a place where I struggling. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I can definitely relate to this. I also am prone to having panic attacks at night. From reading your post, I am wondering if we experience this because there is less to do in the evening, at least for me anyways. In the morning, I keep myself busy with chores, working out, getting ready for the day, etc., and as a result, I don’t have time to let the anxiety build. However, in the evening, when I’m sitting at home alone and reading a book perhaps, I start thinking too much, and the anxiety sets in. I haven’t found the cure for this yet, but like you mentioned in one of your response comments above, I think consistency is key; if you find something that helps, you have to regularly incorporate that into your routine. As always, thanks for sharing, and keep writing! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think you are on the right track. I was thinking about that earlier today. I wake up at 5 am everyday and I am busy non-stop. My anxiety is okay during that time but when I slow down my mind wanders. I was thinking that maybe I need to change my night time routine. I spend time usually laying in bed watching television until I fall asleep. I need better sleep hygiene I think that is a good step to go along with consistency.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I had a panic attack for the first time in MONTHS yesterday morning and it totally derailed my day. But one thing I have noticed as I’ve healed is that I don’t have that voice in the back of my head telling me how messed up I am or how much of a failure I am for having a panic attack. It’s just my brain short circuiting, just like a sneeze is a sneeze or a hiccup is a hiccup (even though the effects are way worse). Thank you for writing – just wanted to remind you that you aren’t broken and you’re awesome for fighting!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I experienced a panic attack once in my life, when I was running late for an MRI appointment and the street where I live was closed. It was awful, the worst feeling I ever had. I hope that i will never experience something like that again. Whenever i m under stress i m thinking at that moment and i m trying to control my breathing. I am sure u will find your own way to fight it

    Liked by 1 person

  8. odd… I actually don’t like the hours of 4pm-7pm either! I don’t have higher anxiety at those times but I just hate that time frame for some reason lol. I always have.

    I hope you get to do all your plans this summer! I’m looking forward to summer myself. Stay strong my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. First I’m so sorry this is happening to you. Second I had a question about the mindfulness breathing. I personally found the breathing that was recommended too complex to think about during a panic attack, but if you breath right when it’s starting you can shut it down. Have you ever tried just placing your hands on your belly and breathing into your belly? It a simpler technique but worked for me because I would panic even more thinking about breathing. Just wondering because I know how hard it can be.

    Liked by 1 person

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