1. Are they walking towards me?

2. Does my breath smell?

3. Why did I have a tuna sandwich for lunch?

4. Why did I have a tuna sandwich ever? Tuna is the kryptonite of romance.

5. My arms feel weird.

6. Should I cross them?

7. Or just leave them by my sides?

8. Oh my god, what do I normally do with my arms?! WHY IS THIS SO HARD.

9. What should I say?

10. “Hey!”? Nope. Too American.

11. “Hi”? Too simple.

12. “Howdy?” Wait, am I suddenly in a 50s Western film?

13. Maybe I’ll just nod. Nodding says, “I acknowledge you exist, but your presence doesn’t make me want to run away to Spain with you and tattoo your name on my bicep or anything.” Nodding is cool. Right?

14. Right?!

15. Oh my god, they’re coming! No, no no – they’re right here.

16. “G’day partner, do your arms ever feel weird?”

17. Nailed it.

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome. 

Image: Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging

It’s perfectly natural to feel panicked in certain situations. Sometimes life can be a bit panicky. When you’re late to an appointment and there’s a red light; when you can’t remember where you put your mum’s favourite necklace; when you are watching literally any episode of Pretty Little Liars.

But a panic attack is something else, something next-level – a very real, physical reaction to what’s going on in your mind. Put simply, panic attacks are when that feeling of ‘Oh my god, something awful is about to happen,’ spreads throughout your body and makes it hard to continue with your day.

What do panic attacks look like?

During a panic attack, you may feel like you can’t breathe or you are going to be sick. Some people describe feeling like they’re having a heart attack, or the frantic need to escape whatever place or situation you’re in.

Physically, you might feel like your heart is beating weirdly or really fast. You may also feel hot and sweaty, or shaky and weak in your legs. Some people experience blurry vision, or a sensation that their surroundings feel strange and distant.

Panic attacks normally last between five and 20 minutes. Part of what makes panic attacks so frightening is how quickly they come on and how intense the symptoms can feel. However, it’s important to remember that panic attacks can’t cause any physical harm. We’ll say it again: they can’t cause you any physical harm. So that’s one less thing to worry about.

TLDR? Here’s the important stuff:
  • Panic attacks are when that feeling of “Oh my god, something awful is about to happen,” spreads throughout your body and makes it hard to continue with your day.
  • Symptoms include: feeling sick or short of breath, feeling like you're having a heart attack, feeling hot and sweaty, shaky or weak in your legs, blurry vision, feeling the need to escape, or the sensation that your surroundings feel strange.
  • Panic attacks normally last between five and 20 minutes. The symptoms can feel intensely real and scary, although they can’t actually cause any physical harm.
  • Breathing exercises, listening to music, exercising or keeping a diary can all help, and so can talking to your doctor.

What causes panic attacks?

The exact cause isn’t understood. Sigh.

For some people, there are places or situations that can trigger a panic attack, whereas other people will experience them at random. They go hand-in-hand with anxiety, although not everyone who has a panic attack has anxiety disorder, and vice versa. But whatever the cause, they’re common. About one in 10 people experience panic attacks, and they effect twice as many women as men (cool thnx, patriarchy). 

Are they treatable?

Yes. The worst thing about panic attacks is that you can talk and think yourself into them – but that’s also kind of the best thing, because it means you can talk and think yourself out them too.

Obviously, this sort of mental gymnastics can be incredibly difficult, but it’s definitely possible. There are a lots small things you can do that can make a huge difference; talk to someone you trust, try some breathing exercises, listen to music, exercising or even keeping a diary. And beyond that, talking therapies with a mental health professional can give you coping strategies to keep panic at bay. 

When should I go to the doctor?

If your panic attacks are frequent, linked to general feelings of anxiety, or just making life difficult, it’s always a good idea to have a chat to your GP about what they recommend.

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome. 

Image: Hailey Hamilton

1. What sound was that? Was that a smash or a thud?

2. Do I have insurance?

3. Can you buy insurance after it’s broken?

4. Oh please, please, please, please no.

5. I can’t look.

6. Why isn’t someone here to look for me?

7. If I ignore it and don’t pick it up, will it be like nothing ever happened?

8. What are the odds that my £2 case from Primark will actually protect my phone?

9. Why hasn’t anybody invented time travel?

10. What are scientists even doing with their time?

11. Maybe that’s a little harsh.

12. How much money do I currently have in my bank account?

13. Steve Jobs, Saint of iPhones, please watch over me during this trying time.

14. IT’S OKAY. IT’S PERFECT. IT’S SO SO SO SO BEAUTIFUL. I WILL NEVER, EVER LET YOU OUT OF MY PALM AGAIN YOU SWEET, BEAUTIFUL CREATURE.

15. 25% battery. What is this?! I charged you, like, an hour ago you ASSHAT.

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome. 

1. I wonder if these will be the trousers that change my life forever.

2. Why is it always so hot in here? Is it just the body heat generated by changing in and out of clothes, or have I accidentally signed up for, like… Bikram shopping?

3. These are probably not the trousers that will change my life forever.

4. I’ll stand on tiptoes though, just to be sure.

5. Nope.

6. Saved myself £24.99! I am a financial wizard. I’ll probably have a three-bedroom house by the time I’m 20.

7. Could I class changing in and out of clothes I definitely don’t want as ‘exercise’? It feels like cardio.

8. This mirror is probably wrong. I will open the curtain and look at the mirror in the cubicle opposite, just to be sure.

9. Mirrors should be banned.

10. Why can’t I get this thing off? Has it shrunk in the tropical humidity? Why don’t they realise that we’re never going to buy things if we feel like a puddle in a jumpsui– hang on, am I… stuck?

11. It’s fine, I’m not stuck. Deep breaths.

12. Was that a seam ripping? Ok, shallow breaths.

13. I’m stuck.

14. They will have to call firemen to cut me out. It’ll be in the newspaper. ‘LOCAL GIRL STUCK IN JUMPSUIT, LAUGHED AT BY ASSEMBLED CROWDS’.

15. Ok, if I just slightly dislocate my shoulder and do a kind of wiggly dance…

16. Free! I am free! Sweet freedom! I will never take my limbs for granted again.

17. Do I want to buy it though? Did it look sassy before I got stuck? I think it did. Maybe I should put it back on again.

18. This is fantastic lighting for squeezing spots. I should save them all up especially.

19. I wonder if anyone has ever died in here?

20. Tell you what’s still alive and well though – my KILLER sense of personal style.

21. If I just stayed very still and quiet, could I get locked into the shop and spend all night trying on the clothes?

22. But why would I want to do that, when this is such sweaty hell?

23. Films. It is because films make trying on clothes look like fun.

24. BUT WAIT, this isn’t a skirt at all! It’s a top!

25. It’s a nice top too. Imagine how good it would look if I wasn’t wearing it with emoji socks, pants and a hoodie tied round my waist instead of a skirt.

26. I think this might be the top that changes my life forever.

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome. 

Image: Sisters

1. Is this a joke? This is a joke right?

2. Maybe if I disconnect and reconnect it will work?

3. This is the worst day of my life.

4. If I keep refreshing the page, the internet will realise how much I love it and it will come back to me.

5. What did people even do before the internet existed? Play with… marbles.

6. How do you even play with marbles?

7. What if I turn to router off and on again?

8. I wonder if I could guess our next door neighbour’s Wi-Fi password.

9. asgT52zestylimes? Argh. Not that.

10. Password1? Damn, it’s not that either.

11. Why didn’t we just have a blackout instead? I don’t even need lights that much. Anything would be preferable to this.

12. Isn’t the internet like, a basic human right?

13. I’ll google it.

14. Crap. I can’t.

15. I wonder if I could use this to get out of doing my homework…

16. How much data do I have left on my phone?

17. How annoyed will my parents be if I go over my limit again?

18. Maybe it will be worth getting groun-

19. OH MY GOD IT’S BACK!!!! HELLO SWEET INTERNET.

20. That was the longest two minutes in the history of the world.

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome. 

Image: Katie Edmunds