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Is this a panic attack?


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I had an exam this morning (it was fine, not too hard, etc.) and I went up to turn in the exam and talk to the professor when I finished. I was standing in the front of the room talking to the professor about some previous grades in the class while some students were still sitting at desks finishing the exam. All of a sudden I started to get really light-headed. My head became all fuzzy and my vision clouded over and I could barely see straight. My ears were ringing and my heart was pounding really fast and I think my body temperature was rising and all I wanted to due was get out of that room as fast as I could. I'm surprised I remained standing and was able to walk out of the room... I don't know how I did it. I just quickly told the professor I had to go and would send him an email later, and then I rushed to the bathroom and sat there and cried for ten minutes.

After this I went back home and slept for two hours to calm myself (yeah my coping mechanisms are now sleeping and eating... not so good). But I haven't told anyone what happened because I am pretty scared and embarrased. I don't know what to do...

Do you think this was a panic attack? I've never had anything that bad before.

- micki

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I'm not an expert in any way, but it doesn't sound to me like a panic attack. Could be you were stressed out and with the exam finally being over relieved that it was finished. Like an exhaustion of mental energy and you just needed to sleep and recuperate. You'd be more like to get a panic attack *before* or *during* an exam than after it. Unless you were panicking afterwards 'cause you did a horrible job, which it doesn't sound like.

If you're still worried, talk it over with yr doctor.

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I'm not an expert in any way, but it doesn't sound to me like a panic attack. Could be you were stressed out and with the exam finally being over relieved that it was finished. Like an exhaustion of mental energy and you just needed to sleep and recuperate. You'd be more like to get a panic attack *before* or *during* an exam than after it. Unless you were panicking afterwards 'cause you did a horrible job, which it doesn't sound like.

If you're still worried, talk it over with yr doctor.

Retrospective anxiety is not that uncommon - that is anxiety after the experience, rather than during or before it. I think what you describe does sound like a panic attack. If its an isolated incident, dont worry too much, but if it starts to occur regularly get professional help in the form of a therapist or dr earlier rather than later. There are cognitive techniques and medication that can help with panic disorder, but lets hope this was just an isolated incident.

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Thanks for responding! Now that I've had a chance to think about it, and gone about my day and distracted myself with other activities, I'm thinking it was just really high anxiety. Like an "anxiety attack" but not necessarily panic. I'm working on lowering the anxiety. Can't wait to go home for the summer... hopefully I will feel better then!

Thanks again!

- micki

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Sounds a lot like my panic attacks.

Try to remember that some people, or a lot of people, only get it once. Hope you're one of them.

Take care.

Oh, btw. Had you been eating properly before the test? I can get similar things if I don't eat.

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