There was a woman who inconvenienced about 200 people on a trans-Atlantic flight, some fighter pilots, and a whole lot of emergency crews because she had a panic attack because she was claustrophobic. People are such assholes. Federal criminal charges! If she wants to get to the US from the UK, she can swim next time. WIDE OPEN SPACES IN THE ATLANTIC OCEAN. Of course, if she’s afraid of crowded planes, she’s probably afraid of water. And the cold temperature. And sharks. Oh you know what – just stay home and don’t bother other people with your crap.
At the risk of angering certain advocates who won’t even let a teddy bear company sell a funny bear without some whining, most people who have panic attacks are ridiculous. I speak from experience when I say without a doubt that the most effective treatment for panic attacks, anxiety attacks, or whatever attacks that are wimpy in nature is some form of solitary confinement. Otherwise known as the silent treatment.
Medical literature has been very diplomatic in this area for fear of offending said advocates, instead always referring to some vague pathophysiology behind these attacks. Let’s be clear – it doesn’t appear to be anything but a learned behavioral problem prevalent in spoiled, selfish, attention-seeking assholes who don’t care about what other people, usually their families, may have scheduled for the day. And they certainly don’t care that all paramedics hate every single one of these dumbasses for having to actually show up to these stupid calls to babysit them.
So this is how the idea of solitary confinement works; it never fails – every time we go on some panic attack call disguised as “shortness of breath” because of the requisite hyperventilation or “chest pain” because the human body is not supposed to breathe in and out 100 times a minute, we remove the patient from the overly concerned and overly coddling family members, place the patient in the ambulance, refuse all family ride-alongs, dim the lights, and ignore the patient. Not once have we reached the hospital without any change in behavior. Drama queens need an audience; no audience, no show. The occasional threat of IV starts in such patients in their teens is particularly gratifying. (Usually: “Cut this shit out or we have to start big IVs because the hospital’s going to think you’re really dying. Which you’re not.”) A slap in the face doesn’t work as quickly. The guilt trip about how they’re spoiled brats because their “acting up” makes their parents worry about nothing works as well.
That being said, this plague is never going away. People like their psych meds, and drug companies like their profits. Who cares if an hour at the gym actually manages your issues better than meds? Too much work!