The weight of your mental health

"I don't know what's going on, but I feel very distressed and I just want to cry... It's also really hard to breathe, and I can feel my room getting smaller. I'm very scared". I pressed send and the nightmare began"

I never really called by its name. I guess I wasn't even aware of the concept itself nor the symptoms. When the first panic attack hit me, I was walking home by myself in Melbourne, where I lived as part of my year abroad in Australia.

I remember how weird I've been that day and how I couldn't understand what was going on. I was just pretty... off; so off that I even pushed myself to go out for dinner after work, as food usually cheers me up, but even that didn't work.

As soon as I left the restaurant, I felt my heart rate rising. "Is this how a heart attack feels?", I wonder concerned, while trying to speed up to get home faster. It was dark and I was walking by myself on a very lonely street and I didn’t understand what was happening to my brain and my heart.