Here’s a snippet:

My first attack happened a week before my graduation from college. I was in bed, painting my nails bright red, when my heart began racing. I had the sensation that I was watching myself from above — not alive but not quite dead. (I’d later learn that a sense of dreamlike unreality — depersonalization — is a hallmark of panic.)

I wondered at first if I were being punished for drinking too much at a party the night before. Perhaps someone had spiked my drink. (Nobody had.) What if I were actually dying? (I wasn’t.) This is panic’s flailing logic. Other sufferers I know count coins to ground themselves; some clean out their closets. Back then, when the attacks were new to me, I used to match celebrities with their home towns. (I recall murmuring, “Rosie O’Donnell, Merrick, Long Island,” repeatedly.)

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