She was walking from her dorm to her favorite class, mentally flipping through her flashcards for the quiz. After class, she had plans to meet up with her boyfriend and roommate for lunch.
She reached the double glass doors of the lecture hall and froze. She stared blankly as classmates passed her and entered the room. Her heart was beating through her chest. She felt feverish and dizzy. Her stomach was turning itself into knots. Tears started rolling down her face and, before she knew it, she was sprinting back to her dorm room. This overwhelming fear had wrapped itself around her. Suddenly, she was terrified that someone, somewhere, was coming to hurt her.
Once in her room, she locked the door and climbed under her desk, praying that the shaking and the sobbing would not last long.
She spent the rest of the day in bed. This was the uphill battle she was sure she could not win.
Panic attacks can look and feel different for each person. The same can be said of depression. Your depression may not appear identical to another person’s. That doesn’t make what you’re going through less painful or less important.
Panic attacks and/or depression are common among victims of abuse. Depression is especially isolating and smothering so it can be difficult to seek help on your own. Though not synonymous, a common effect or component of depression is the temptation or desire to commit suicide. Abuse will usually intensify this desire – it’s one way to escape.