My First Anxiety Attack

I had my first anxiety attack when I was 16 years old.  I am now 34 but remember it pretty clearly.  At this age I was a typical teen, but also extra-obsessed with my looks.  At the time I had started taking *Stacker II (pretty intense diet pill back when ephedrine was around) and was eating exclusively watermelon to be as thin as possible.  I think I was only 5′ and under 100 lbs.  So, that’s an unhealthy combo to begin with.  Add on my genetic predisposition for anxiety and we’ve got ourselves a nice recipe for panic.

My First Anxiety Attack

So, there I am having just popped a diet pill and laying in a tanning bed (yep, another vice)… all of a sudden my heart starts racing, lips go numb and my brain feels like it’s flipping around in my skull.  What the heck is that?  I was too young to know what an anxiety attack was so I definitely thought death was coming.  I hopped out of the tanning bed and tried to control my breathing.  This was so horrifying to me.  After that I began to have these episodes quite frequently.  It was like an anxious stress-ball was unleashed and completely beyond my control.  My Grandma booked me a doctor appointment and everyone started thinking it probably had something to do with blood sugar.  I can’t remember a few of the other possibly diagnoses that people were throwing out, but not one of them was anxiety.

After some pretty extensive blood work and testing, the doc came back to report that I was healthy as can be.  Long story short, she suggested that it was all in my head.  Great, thanks!  Although it WAS in my head, her condescending tone and lack of followup advice sucked.

It was not until years later that I found out that I was in fact having panic attacks.  So, in between that time I just thought I was straight up psycho.

anxiety attack

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* I am not blaming Stacker II or anything for my anxiety, but it’s probably not wise for anyone prone to anxiety to take such stimulants.  That’s my 2 cents anyway!

Have you ever had an anxiety attack? Did you realize what was happening to you?

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