Just thought I'd pass this along for anyone out there who feels like a freak for having panic attacks.
About 5 years ago when my panic got completely out of conrol, I was talking to my sister (again, the ER doc) and telling her I felt like I was a weak, moronic person for freaking out like I do. She told me that adrenaline is the strongest substance in the body and that my body was pumping out a ton of adrenaline, which causes the unpleasant physical and psychological symptoms.
She also said that if you inject anyone with enough adrenaline, they will have a panic attack, no matter who they are, anxiety disorder or not. I was like, "Really? You mean, like, our dad (the calmest dude I know)? George Bush? Jean Claude Van Damme? Arnold Schwarzeneggar? Angelina Jolie? Anyone?"
She said "Yep."
So we're not freaks, we're just way too good at secreting that adrenaline.