Mental Health Monday–Fight or Flight?

You know you’re going to die.

You can’t breathe, your heart is pounding, sweat is pouring down your face and back. Your vision blurs, your tongue feels thick. Your stomach and bowels threaten to expunge their contents, like, immediately. Even ordinary sounds are jarring. Basically, your body has betrayed you without warning and regaining control seems impossible.

This is just a glimpse of what a panic attack feels like. Once the cycle starts, these intense bouts of anxiety can come without warning. The sufferer often worries about the next attack. Anticipation itself brings on the symptoms.

In other words, it’s a vicious cycle.

So, my question to you:

How would you write a scene of someone having a panic attack? Would you focus on his or her internal sensations or would you highlight the world around them, pointing out the details of his or her heightened perception?

Either way, the experience for the reader can be pretty intense, right?

Check out Lydia’s post on Medical Mondays!

Remember, this post is intended for writing purposes only and is NOT meant for medical treatment or advice.