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About BucketOfLead

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  1. My attacks are so horrible to me that I've sacrificed a great deal of my life to completely avoiding them. They are few and relatively far between, but I'm almost always dealing with "high anxiety", which in this case feels like I'm hanging by a thread and about to have a full-blown attack. But I can certainly talk you through how they happen when they actually do. They are *very* physical in nature. My arms and legs feel like all the blood in them has been replaced with pure adrenaline, all jittery and electric. This is also the case in my upper chest and lower neck. It's not a heart or lungs thing, it feels pretty skin deep, like that part of me is alive independent of the rest of me. My stomach gets that classic, deep, sinking feeling, and sorry to be crass, but my guts feel like they're about to fall out of my butt. My breathing fluctuates with whatever battle I'm fighting in my head - it slows when I feel like I'm gaining a little control and quickens when I let go a little (this back and forth process happens for the duration of the full-blown attack). I also become hypersensitive to my body and all that it does. I notice my breathing and think about suffocating. I notice my stomach and think about vomiting or defecating. I notice my legs and think of being paralyzed and on and on. Its basically a mental checklist that tells me "Imagine what the worst case for all of these", making me feel out of control of my body and trapped inside of it. This makes focusing on breathing very difficult in particular. Most people tell you to focus your breathing rhythm to regain control. Unfortunately, this just makes me more aware of how essential it is to my being alive and how its something I don't pay attention to 99% of the time, causing me to panic even more. And once it's all over with, I'm miserable for the foreseeable future. Completely dejected and existentially paranoid. Its like someone distilled that feeling of pure doom of the worst depression and shot it straight into my brain. This can lead to more and more panic attacks and a pretty vicious cycle. These periods of depression afterwards never feel like something I've pulled myself out of once they fade. More like something I've somehow survived through, leaving me feeling just as helpless whenever it happens again.