You are wishing for your body to breathe with all of your might; however, your body will not cooperate. You and your body are at turmoil. Fear replaces blood that runs through your veins. You haven’t been able to take the breath you’ve been desiring for, what seems like, hours. Time begins to feel ineffectual. You look upon the world with new eyes–visions from angles outside of your body. You are no longer attached to your body; your body just being the regrettable device which won’t allow you to do the one thing to keep you alive. Your muscles become weaker by the second, until you feel the moment where you body wants to collapse to the comforting cold ground. You continue to choke on the nonexistent air in your airways. Hoping that continuing to gasp would maybe gasp air into your deprived body.
This, all of this, is what it feels like in my experience to hyperventilate.
I have dealt with hyperventilation for the majority of my life–ever since I was three.
Hyperventilation is a condition in which you suddenly start to breathe very quickly and exhale more than you inhale. Due to the sudden quickening of breath, you upset the balance of breathing in oxygen and breathing out carbon dioxide. When exhaling more than you inhale, carbon dioxide levels decrease. When at low levels of carbon dioxide in the body, there is a narrowing of the blood vessels that supply blood to the brain. Symptoms include the following: breathless, dizziness, feeling light-headed, confusion, weakness, and in severe cases, loss of consciousness. Healthline.com explains hyperventilating more in depth if you would like to learn more.
Hyperventilation triggers are commonly stress and anxiety. These common triggers are also true for me. I also have a third trigger–being tickled. All my past experiences of being tickled includes hyperventilation, which makes me stressed because of the lack of ability to breathe. Therefore, just the idea of being tickled makes me stressed, as it is emotionally and physically linked to the negative effects of hyperventilation.
From all of these years of hyperventilating while being tickled, I have to grown to try and protect myself. I have grown to become somewhat physical when someone tickles me–going to whatever extent to try and make them stop. This usually includes attempting to shove them away from me; however, if you ever know what it’s like being tickled, you don’t have conscious control of your body. Whichever attempt I use to try and make the person stop always fails. The only thing that makes people stop is when they realize I stop breathing.
Dealing with hyperventilation for as long as I have has made many of my close friends aware of it. They are aware of my triggers and they are mindful to not purposefully put me in a situation where they know I will have a hyperventilation attack.
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Have a great rest of your day,