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I think I had a panic attack today Watch

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    I got to work and was just feeling generally unwell. (I'm a teacher.) I get in quite early and was just organizing myself in the peace and quiet. And then I don't know what happened... I started having palpitations, shaking and I couldn't catch my breath. I felt like I wasn't myself, like I was about to faint or like my heart would just swell and give up. I forced myself into my classroom and somehow carried on, but have felt lousy for the rest of the day.

    I'm very happy in my job, but a few other stresses in life atm. Thing is, I'm terrified that this is going to become 'a thing' ... that it'll happen again and I'll be stuck with anxiety or be somebody that suffers panic attacks. I don't know whether this is worthy of going to the doctors? Will it happen again? Can they just happen out of the blue like that? Are they always brought on by stress?

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    I really feel for you because I am also a teacher in secondary education and know all to well what you are going through.

    In my training year due to stress outside of my job I had a panic attack in front of a class and although I hid it well at the time, it became a real sticking point because I then developed a fear of it occurring again and worried what the children would think. It became a vicious circle, so much so that I considered leaving the profession.

    Teaching is an extremely high pressured job and at times that can get too much, especially around exam time which we are currently going through. Don't be too hard on yourself, many people suffer with anxiety. When I had my panic attack last year I turned to internet forums to seek advice and I was so relieved and comforted when people came forward to say they had been through the same thing.

    I would recommend going to your doctor which I did when I started experiencing the attacks - even though for you it may be a one off thing. I am managing my anxiety now and starting to feel on top of it. That isn't to say I never feel anxious or stressed but I have got through some of the more stressful parts of the job e.g. parents evenings, observations which before seemed like huge milestones. It helps to talk to somebody and if you feel like you are tackling the issue then immediately you are in a more positive state of mind. I was also prescribed a drug called propanolol which acts to slow down the heart rate and sometimes I can take that if I feel anxiety coming on - not to say that's right for everyone but it has helped in my situation.

    I can't speak for you but I now know that teaching isn't the right profession for me. I can deal with the pressure but 'dealing' isn't worth it in the long run. I know that I don't get enough job satisfaction for the amount of rubbish that gets thrown on us. But stick at it and make sure you look after yourself first!

    Try and take time for you. Do some exercise, maybe something calming like yoga. Most of all, remember that you are human, we all have hard times but you will get through it. I hope that in sharing my experience I may have helped a little x
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    That sounds exactly like a panic attack. Sorry to hear you had one, I know how horrible and scary they are. I suffered from panic disorder and agoraphobia for years. Yes they can come on totally out the blue, my first one did. I was just sitting in a biology lecture then boom all the symptoms started. I thought I was dying or going crazy. They do tend to happen more when you are under stress but can happen out of the blue when you are calm too.

    This might just be an once off but if they happen again I recommend going to your doctor for both treatment and reassurance as it can be hard to remember panic attacks aren't dangerous but they feel like the polar opposite. I hope this is just an once off for you. I noticed the more I read into the first one I had, the more I kept getting because it shook me up that much and I was terrified I would end up getting another hence how I developed panic disorder.

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Updated: May 11, 2015
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