This is what it feels like to have an anxiety attack.

Helpless. Confused. Distraught.

I’m writing this while I am having an anxiety attack. Because of that, you should probably excuse any typos or spelling mistakes — it’s hard to see the screen through the tears and my shaking hands are making it hard to type.

I’m typing this because I want to help you understand, or I want you to know you aren’t alone. Whichever camp you’re in- I hope this helps.

Tonight my anxiety attack began because I said something to a good friend which may have been misinterpreted.

Now she hasn’t replied to me for 43 minutes.

She may have gotten busy, and I know this deep in my heart, but all the irrational thoughts have overtaken and I’ve been bawling for 37 minutes.

That’s how quickly an anxiety attack can begin. My whole body is shaking; my system is being so overwhelmed and panicked that I can’t control it anymore.

I’m sobbing like a two-year-old having a tantrum. And that’s basically what this is — it’s a grown-up tantrum because my anxiety disorder basically makes me incapable of regulating my own emotions, kind of like a toddler.

This is a part of my life which unfortunately strikes me at any time. Usually if I’m at work or out, I can get myself distracted quickly enough to cope. When I’m at home, when I let myself relax — I can’t.

“When I’m at home, when I let myself relax — I can’t.”

This is why I’m a workaholic who plays a lot of sports and tries to socialise a lot. That’s a common misconception — that people with anxiety disorders want to be at home all the time. And some do — people with agoraphobia really struggle with this. But others, like me, really need the distraction of the outside world in order to control their inner world.

It has been 46 minutes now.

I’m still sobbing, rocking like a baby and shaking so much it’s physically hurting me. This happens nearly every time. Unfortunately it won’t stop until I hear from her, or I fall asleep.

Anxiety shouldn’t control you life, but it does. Right now my entire body is so overwhelmed and scared and downright petrified that it is physically and mentally impossible for me to do anything else, or think of anything else.

I keep deleting sentences from this because they’re irrelevant to what I’m trying to say.

I knew I had to write this while I was having an attack because when you aren’t you can see how irrational it is.

But right now my body cannot and will not think of anything else. So far in the past 49 minutes I’ve tried TV, a movie, a book, my guitar, going for a drive and doing 50 push-ups.

It’s really, really hard to do push-ups while you’re sobbing. It’s also kind of dangerous to drive.


Anyone can have an anxiety attack, even superheroes. (Post continues after video.)

If there’s someone in your life who suffers from anxiety, don’t treat them like they’re diseased. It’s just that sometimes, their minds and bodies betray them and leave them feeling like this.

Helpless. Confused. Distraught. In pain (the teeth clenching and shaking actually physically hurts after this amount of time).

Sometimes nothing is a challenge. Sometimes you can convince yourself that you’ve overcome your anxiety because it has been a week, or three weeks without an attack.

But then it’s been 55 minutes, and you’re rocking and your eyes are aching from the crying

And you still can’t help yourself — even though you’ve tried just about everything you can think of.

What do you do when you’re having an anxiety attack?