I’ve always wondered why, during this time that I’ve been going through, that when you have a panic attack, why does it feel like you are being strangled? I feel like there are invisible hands pushing down on my larynx making it hard for me to breathe. It does not feel good and it actually makes the feeling of panic worse. It makes me want to grab at my throat and pry off the invisible set of hands strangling me. Yet, the feeling of my hands on my neck makes the feeling of panic worse. Conclusion: anything I do to stop imaginary forces makes my panic worse.
At that moment when my panic feeling becomes escalated, I start to breathe very fast – almost hyperventilate. To tell you the truth, I have a couple of times and almost passed out. I found out from my doctor that this happens when you breathe out all your CO2 and your extremities – arms, legs, feet, etc. – start to tingle and feel numb. This tingling and numbness then adds to my panic because I then feel like or think I am having a heart attack. My chest becomes tight; my arms are tingly and numb. Not a good feeling, wouldn’t you agree?
In essence I feel like I’m fighting my way out of a wet paper bag.