i just got this from my friend jack and he’s agreed that it’s okay for me to share!
By Jack Spatafora, today at 9:46 am
So what’s all this about the National Institute of Health reporting, “More than 40 million Americans suffer from anxiety each year, many in the form of anxiety attacks.” What’s with this label ‘attack?’ I can understand a shark attack, a heart attack, an attack of indigestion, but how does anxiety attack…?
If you can’t answer that, be glad. You don’t want to know! It’s defined as a sudden onslaught of symptoms that can unexpectedly paralyze you with an inexplicable mix of fearfulness, self consciousness, depersonalization, dizziness, sweating, nausea, and a cold crawling panic about your immediate surroundings.
Case in point this last summer. A well-known Broadway actor suffering from chronic anxiety attacks was rushed from backstage to an ER with these symptoms. The staff told him it was a mild heart attack. He remembers sitting up and telling them, “Thank god, I thought it was going to be an anxiety attack!”
Two schools of thought about psychiatric illnesses. One is the traditional, up-by-your-own-bootstraps bravado which dismisses these as “it’s all in your mind.” Ironically, that’s the point! The mind still remains largely a mystery to us, and so too its many diseases and cures. You can keep a smile-on-your-face and whistle-a-happy-tune from here to forever, but that won’t change either here or forever. Panic attacks have been plaguing the human species since the beginning but cavalierly dismissed as: weakness, foolishness, or the work of the devil.
Modern societies have learned otherwise; however, this learning has not always seeped down to where the boys belly up to the bar and the ladies who lunch scoff at their suffering peers. There are many plagues across the land. The terrible ones you can see like hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods. Then the even more terrible ones you can’t see.
It took a war to finally recognize post-traumatic-disorder. Now what’s it going to take…?
August 31st, 2012 at 10:34 pm
Jack and you were kind to share .
August 31st, 2012 at 11:07 pm
I am profoundly moved. And I DO understand. I have been experiencing this recently. I guess you’er never too old for this to happen. Hearing it described in detail is a real eye opener for me. Thank you for sharing.
August 31st, 2012 at 11:26 pm
Well written commentary on mental overload manifested as anxiety.
September 1st, 2012 at 1:12 am
A short essay that says so much. Thanks to you both.
December 28th, 2012 at 9:58 am
My sister sufferred from panic attacks all through highschool. It was terrible for all of us because back then there was no information available. We didn’t know how to help her. Now there are cures.