Thursday, 20 November 2008

Hollie-Anne Brooks dresses for panic attacks.

When I was little I was trained, by my mother, in how to take care of my father whenever he had a panic attack and I was the only person around. I remember a little sheet that gave details of the symptoms of panic attacks and how to calm a person down. I also remember the huge batch of paper bags in the cupboard which were given to my dad from the pharmacy; they were printed with a green cross and blue text in a typical chemist style.

I've never really suffered from panic attacks- perhaps I had a few in my early teens and maybe a 'light' one once every now and again but it's never something I'd say I "suffered" from or that happened to me frequently. But today, for one of the only times in my life, I had a major panic attack.

The thing that's upset me most about it is that I found myself feeling really embarrassed about it as there was nothing, that I can recall, that brought it on. The location bothers me most about the incident, however. I happened to be right in the middle of Marks and Spencer and, in the middle of shaking and being unable to breath, managed to drop my basket to the sound of a loud clatter. What started off as short breaths and sweating turned into loud crying, intense shaking, chest pains, hyperventilating and lightheadedness. Right in the middle of an immensely busy M&S!

People crowded round me and worried people tried to ask me if I was OK but nothing came out of my mouth. Eventually members of staff made people move on and slowly took me to a back room to calm down. They gave me glass after glass of water and gave me a paper bag to breath into. Well done, M&S- you actually really helped! They were so lovely but I felt so silly and couldn't even look them in the eye. I ended up leaving my basket of wine and dessert as I was too flushed and worked-up. It wasn't good.

Dressing For is all about staying calm today. When I'm feeling ill I always opt for the floaty dress or top and skinny jeans number. There's something about a silky and floaty top that always makes me feel calm and comfortable. I love this over-sized Day Birger Et Mikkelsen shirt dress as it can be slipped on over jeans, like I've done, or worn on its own with some ribbed tights and a belt. I've added some skinny jeans by Cheap Monday and some bangles by French Connection. I've gone for browns and oranges with accessories and started with this Disney Couture pumpkin necklace- so cute! Finally, slip on some super comfortable moccasins available from Fred Flare and take advantage of Dorothy Perkins 20% off day and bag yourself this vintage looking patchwork beauty. Remember, stay calm and carry on...

Panic Attacks. by hollieanne