First I feel nauseous. Then my body starts to feel like it's pulsating. I realize my heart is racing and I feel lightheaded and dizzy when I walk. Coffee and cigarettes will bring it on if I'm close to the edge. And stress seems to tip me right over. I've spent entire days in bed having one panic attack after another. I've woken from them. I've walked staggering like a drunk down my street and barely gotten my key in the door. I've crawled to my purse where I keep my ativan. I've pulled over my car and paid $200 for a cab once when I couldn't drive because of one. I usually cry during one. When it happens in public, it is 100 times worse. For some reason, having my hair petted or some comforting touch seems to help. If I take my ativan too late, I am dizzy and fatigued for days - and it takes a long time to kick in. If I recognize what's happening right away (which is rare) and take the ativan as soon as I feel even a bit out of control, it works better and seems to even me out. But I'll still feel like napping. I started having them in my late teens. They tapered off through my mid to late 20's and are reoccuring in my early 30's now. The IUD made them come on strong and more often. The birth control pill seems to also contribute to a higher frequency. But the biggest cause is emotional.
Last night I tried to imagine myself lying on a beach, my body hot under the sun till I fell asleep. The panic attack was gone when I woke up. I'm glad I didn't take ativan because I was up at 6:30 and had the house cleaned by 7:30 and my son off to daycare by 8:30. Had I taken ativan last night, I would have slept till 8:00.