I'd been feeling fine all day until my neighbor started playing electric guitar. He's a beginner and was playing really simple riffs badly (Sunshine of your Love, a number of Zeppelin tunes). Within minutes I'd had a full blown panic attack. Symptoms just jumped up and bit me out of nowhere...severe anxiety, stomach bloating, intense nausea. I felt my pulse rate quicken. I took my temperature and it was only 97.1 degrees. I slowly got a little better and then he stopped playing and I got quite a bit better. I'm still far from well, but I can tolerate the way I feel right now. Hopefully writing will take me the rest of the way.
I'm surprised it affected me that way. Perhaps I was going to have an attack anyway, and it just intensified it. But I don't really think so. He wasn't playing loudly. I have the window open and the traffic noise was probably at about the same level. There are a couple reasons why it may have affected me the way it did.
1. This guy lives directly below me. The walls are thick here, but for some reason the floor is not. For months he had a dog that would whine and howl when he wasn't home (and he's never at home AND works nights). After repeated complaints to the property manager, she finally made him get rid of the dog last weekend. I feel bad about it and maybe that's why his guitar playing precipitated an attack.
2. I play guitar, too. The last time I heard sounds like that, I was probably in Junior High school. I had fun in High School but definitely not in Jr. High. Perhaps that's what caused the attack? Maybe it's a mental thing. Well, there were times I had fun in Junior High but, overall, it was a pretty negative experience. It probably is for a lot of kids, though. It's an awkward age.
I thought writing would help, but now the panic is returning. I'm trying to ignore it...I keep saying it's just anxiety and there's nothing to be worried about. But it's out of control. I keep burping and this awful taste rises from my throat. Suddenly very thirsty. Jumpy. Breathing is not labored but is irregular. Sick to my stomach.
And, now, a minute after I wrote the last sentence, I feel about like I was when I started this post. The last wave was probably five minutes long. I'd still characterize what I'm experience right now as panic, but I'd call it an "episode" rather than an attack. "Attacks", for me, are the absolute worst times during a panic. The whole thing has lasted for almost 40 minutes now. I think and hope it's waning and I can have some peace.
I often type things in this forum (like this) that probably nobody else is interested in. I'd like to thank the mods for not deleting them because I find it to be almost therapeutic. And maybe someone will come along and say, "hey, I have episodes just like that", and we'll both feel a little better. Who knows.