I would have tried anything to alleviate my panic attacks after a violent attack left me living as the PTSD poster child, and I was already a runner in a I-want-carbs-and-I’m-over-30 way, not competitively.
My panic attacks get worse with nightfall because that’s when I was attacked. My therapist decided that maybe I should run through dusk, that maybe that would burn through some of my adrenaline. And it was worth a shot.
But I ran, and I couldn’t tell if the tightness in my chest was running or panic or both. And all of the sounds were amplified into a cricket-frog cacophony. I ran, and it felt like I was running because someone was chasing me, that I was still in danger and that I needed to run for my life.
I don’t run at night anymore. I think exercise does help burn the excess adrenaline, but I do so at times when I am not already panicked. I try to wear my body out before it gets the chance to freak out.
At the very least, I feel stronger, and exercise is good for me. I would recommend that anyone trying to live with a constant adrenaline flood find a way to exercise, find something that forces you to move that you like.
Beating on a punching bag and swimming are also on my list to try. Yoga was a bust because I can’t breathe well out of my nose after it was broken during the attack. Deep breaths just make me want to punch someone now.
If you have any other ideas for getting stronger and beating PTSD, I’d love to hear about them.