I was reading Flowerpot's posting on panic attacks earlier. It's a strange thing to have to cope with to be sure. I have often wondered whether panic attacks are caused by some kind of hormonal imbalance.
My little sister used to suffer them (so I believe, with hindsight) as a teenager. She could not bear to be in large airless stores and would often rush out after 15 minutes of shopping. I always thought it most strange of her. She grew out of the problem at some point and has not shown any such signs of discomfort after becoming a mother.
I first experienced a panic attack standing in a queue at a supermarket checkout. I thought I was about to faint. My heart started to race, a hot flush overwhelmed me and I felt I couldn't get enough air. I contemplated rushing out for fresh cool air. But part of my sensible pragmatic brain wondered whether this could be a 'panic attack'. I knew that if it was I shouldn't react or the next occasion I would feel the need to take the same action. I stood there and rode the storm. Deep breathing exercises and thinking coolly about how I felt and wondering why? I'm glad I didn't take the strong urge to flee. These attacks occurred frequently in queues. Rarely while I was hauling a supermarket trolley around but always while I had to stand in a queue. I remember once being so distracted by how I was feeling that I almost became a blatant shoplifter. My groceries were on the belt but before the checkout girl could scan the goods I started to collect it together again and pack it away. Oooh - we did Laff. I'm just relieved she didn't call the store detective. I've never fancied the idea of a body search.
Now it was only reading Flower's post that I remembered these attacks. They must have started for me just as I entered the pre-menopause stage. I'm not quite sure that I can think of the last one ... but I'm not aware of any for a 2-3years. Obviously from Flower's observations my natural inclination to take deep slow breaths helped. So next time, if I have them again, I'll try singing. It sounds much more fun.