Could this have been a panic attack?

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-28-2012
Could this have been a panic attack?
Mon, 08-06-2012 - 11:10am

While on vacation this past Friday my family and I went out
parasailing. We were on a motor boat for about an hour
while doing this. I started to become queasy after about the first 20 minutes.  When it was our turn to go up, I was a bit nervous, but nothing severe.  I was more worried about the queasiness.  While up in the air, I noticed that my legs went somewhat numb, and the felt very heavy.  I had a hard time moving them.  Then, the same thing happened with my arms.  I thought it was beautiful, and wasn't nervous about being up there anymore.  By the time we were done and got back to the boat, I was very nauseated and ended up throwing up. However, what alarmed me most was that my legs
and arms were now very, very heavy and
stiff. I had a very hard time moving them. I also couldn't
unclench my hand that was holding the vomit bag (sorry) & became extremely tired. Even my mouth felt tight and hard to open.  I truly thought I was having some sort of seizure. Once the boat
stopped, my arms, legs, and hands returned to normal after
about 10-15 minutes. The nausea and exhaustion lasted quite
awhile,.  I couldn't get off the dock for about 30-45 minutes.  Every time I got up, the nausea would return and my legs would get a bit heavy again.   When I described the symptoms to my doc, he said it may have been an acute panic attack.  I have been in much more stressful situations than that, and never experienced anything even close.  Has anyone here experienced heavy, stiff, rigid muscles like this during a panic attack?

Avatar for ubergeek
Community Leader
Registered: 09-23-2010
Mon, 08-06-2012 - 3:07pm


Unfortunately I've not experienced anything like that (except from being scared) so I've not got any words of wisdom. Hopefully someone else has some ideas. 

Are you still feeling better? Have you experienced panic attacks before?


iVillage Member
Registered: 05-28-2012
Mon, 08-06-2012 - 3:55pm

Aside of some lingering nausea and minor dizziness, I was completely fine by the next morning.  I'm not sure if I've ever had an actual panic attack before.   If that's what this was, then no.  My anxiety level has definitely increased over the past few years, and I've had times where my heart has started to race and I've felt panicky, but again, nothing like this.