I remember every detail about my last panic attack. I was wearing an Aerosmith t-shirt, I had my hair pulled back, and an unexpected confrontation with a stranger triggered the attack. As a result, I couldn't get calm for the rest of the day. Make no mistake, there are a set of struggles only moms suffering from panic attacks can understand, including how one episode can impact you and your ability to parent for the rest of the day.
I've suffered from panic attacks since I was a child, but they increased in frequency when I was pregnant and postpartum. When you feel like you no longer have control over your body and, in some instances, your life, it's easy for panic attacks to take over. Even now, and with the help of therapy and mediation, I feel like I'm always on the verge of losing control again. I'm afraid that even the slightest inconvenience can send me into a panic-inducing spiral.
I don't think anyone can really understand what it's like to live with anxiety and panic attacks unless they've been through it. And even people who do live with anxiety and panic attacks can't necessarily understand what I'm experiencing, or visa versa. We're all impacted by and respond differently to this kind of stress. But there are a few things we all need, of course, and that's empathy, understanding, and support. So with that in mind, here are just a few things only a mom suffering from panic attacks can truly understand: