Panic Attack

31 Dec 2022

I think I need to move.

Somewhere else.

Somewhere with more green, more air that smells like what candles fail to emulate.

Somewhere I don’t have panic attacks anymore.

Crossing the street shoulder-to-shoulder, hearing the din of multiple overlapping conversations with my mind trying to make sense of each at the same time - I become overwhelmed.

My heart rate increases, my breath becomes shorter - “Get out”. Even as I’m writing this, there are fireworks going off, and I feel a bit claustrophobic despite being in my own apartment.

I find I have more sensitive hearing that most, with it most likely beingmisophoniaor something similar.

People walking behind me and having their own conversation quickly overtakes my attention to my own conversation. I need to pause and look a different direction when fire engines pass with their sirens on.

I become angry. My fight-or-flight response is activated, I furrow my brow, my face becomes tense, I walk faster - I feel embarrassed.

It’s happened at work too, on the few times I went into the office. A crowded kitchen table combined with poor sound dampening resulted in complete auditory overload and an ensuing panic attack.

I miss out on things because of this: afterparties and going to bars with friends become deeply uncomfortable. Visiting popular areas while traveling mean I want to leave immediately and miss why I went.

Even though there is this thing I struggle with, the bright side is I can listen well. I can detect nuanced changes in someone’s voice, hear if the oven is on by the faint click in the other room, or easily find a phone if it’s on vibrate.

I’m not sure if there’s a lesson here other than the fact that I should change my environment to be one that is more conducive for me.