I wondered about that for a long time. Why do I get these panic attacks? and even more puzzling: why not… when I am clearly in a stress situation?
My guess is that we, this group, or people like us with panic attacks and phobia and such, are sensitive people, maybe very sensitive. That combined with low self esteem or a bad youth – I was beaten up by my dad when I was a kid, in his nonsensical way of bringing up a kid. I don't hold a grudge against him for that – only pity him for being a victim too (was taken to Germany in the war and made it back)
So I grew up as an insecure kid who had his bravour to get along in life. And that went well for a long time, during my time as a student, in the army, working for the government.
It was only after I chose for myself in life and quit my job at the government to get my degree in social work, and, shortly after that, my first giant panic attack occurred…I remember it vividly..
Not really a coincidence.. After doing what was expected from me – get promotions, work for the government, have status.. doing all those things I decided to change my life for what I thougt was right for me. And thus shaking of this straitjacket of expectations.
That looks nice when I write that down like that. And it was -I must say. But here is the catch – and I return to the question asked: the Why – I wasn't aware that there is always a connection between cause and consequence luring ..
In my case I shook off the yoke of my upbringing and did not fullfill the expectations of my father anymore. Hurrah… But the downside is that while doing what I wanted I also gave up the certainties in life .. doing what others want me to do and going my own way
Doing what other people expected -or more to the point, a piece of me that was modelled in my youth and adolescence – had its benefits: doing the right things, good boy. don't get hit, get some sort of appreciation. Comfortably.
But when loosing that I had to get my certainties in life from something else and that is where the struggle began. I did allright I think but it laid the base of a basic insecurity. Went well for a long time. But when some traumatic events took place (I won't bother you with details) it went bad. Panic attacks, agoraphobia, you name it.
I still have to realize that only me can be the base of confidence in life..
When put in a situation when I still have to depend on others, give up control, I risk getting panic attacks and the rest of the long list of symptoms that you likely know very well.
Unfortunatly there are situations in life that you have to give up control. Like a visit to the dentist – you lay there in this chair, completely handed down and with almost no control over the situation. The highway in car: you have to drive in this lane, and with the speed that the rest is dictating.. Waiting in line in a busy mall waiting your turn.. the list is endless. Fill in your own worst scenarios..
I think that is at least a part of the Why. The other part is being susceptible for this specific condition – who knows. Could be a physical, natural lack of serotonin levels probably. That is why a lot of people benefit from pills that correct that, like all sorts of SSRI's like Citalopram or whatever.
Why some people just get a "normal" gastric ulcer or high blood pressure instead off panic attacks..? I gave up to even think about that . It is a fact that we have to deal with.. one way or the other. The sneakyness (is that a word) of our specific challenges is that it has the risc of acceptance of the limitations and thus making our lives smaller and tinier and less fun as it should be. and as we are entitled to.
Hope I didn't put too many words here. Maybe someone recognizes patterns and get a bit more understanding.. thats why I noted this down.