The Unexpected Effect of Travel on my Panic Disorder

I had my first panic attack when I was seven. I was watching a movie with my brother and parents when an invisible hand reached inside my chest, death-gripped my lungs and wouldn’t let go. The air I hadn’t thought about breathing my entire life was suddenly all that mattered; I didn’t even know what oxygen was, but I desperately knew I needed it. I was hyperventilating, hysterically crying and shaking uncontrollably as my hands went numb first, followed by my face and limbs. My muscles tensed up so severely that the smallest movement felt like I was ripping them to shreds. Everything my formerly rational young brain knew vanished completely, replaced only by thoughts of dying. Continue reading