Rapid heartbeat. Nausea. Sweating. If you've ever experienced a panic attack, you know how scary and paralyzing a feeling it can be.

Advertisement
panick-attack.jpg
Credit: Getty Images

Rapid heartbeat. Nausea. Sweating. If you've ever experienced a panic attack, you know how scary and paralyzing it can be.

Last month, a 22-year-old woman from the UK named Amber Smith made headlines when she shared Facebook photos of herself before and after a panic attack. In the first image, she's "[d]ressed up, make up done, filters galore"—but the second image shows her looking frightened with eyes red from crying.

Smith explained that she posted the photos to fight the stigma that surrounds mental health issues. "I've been battling with anxiety and depression for years and years," she wrote. "And there's still people that make comments like 'you'll get over it', 'you don't need tablets, just be happier', 'you're too young to suffer with that.'"

If you too have panic disorder, which is a psychiatric condition in which people have recurring panic attacks (also known as anxiety attacks), you are not alone—it affects about 2.4 million people in the U.S., according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. On Whisper, the app that lets you share anonymous messages, many people have opened up about their struggle with this debilitating form of anxiety. Here, 14 comments that capture what it's really like.

0524eb28804c7be2e45a251ce588fb127976c5-wm.jpg



0524eb2494435e68ecf89692698d2ebb891768-wm.jpg



0524eb30512280dcaf2bb0197d7a63e0fcf7ed-wm.jpg



05226a486646eb8c587f4847620c7e08b74385-wm.jpg



04f98edc8b2938622456cd2e2ce9db737fccfc-wm.jpg



04fb978b4f0fcc690508ed60b025bb911dda50-wm.jpg



04ffdc6eb05ab078193675c2c95e6abfe97d47-wm.jpg



051b817cafdab6183990eb8ca7e7c3c20df7ea-wm.jpg



052c9f4048a094b3b51bf79cf4ba0f9ddf106a-v5-wm.jpg



0518aee5affaa6444838c2c9d71a87c5146db1-wm.jpg



0523ab76a74773f45a38b7a8ef3b02b29e23fa-wm.jpg



0524eb3ca0349c22bc1a161520256c5007fa7e-wm.jpg



0524eb39f61f76473a81b5c2d1cedc0000f5c1-wm.jpg



0524eb353c78a427509e8e2bc476261ba573d2-wm.jpg


These images came from the Whisper app.