I have struggled with anxiety since high school.

As I've learned recently, it can get really bad sometimes — especially due to my post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and anxiety triggers.

Lately, my anxiety has resulted in panic attacks in social settings and insomnia at nights brought on by a fear of nightmares.

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Samuel Bardwell had a bad anxiety attack, so his father took him to the emergency room.

Samuel was playing basketball when he noticed the signs of an impending attack. He had been prescribed an as-needed anti-anxiety medication, but he didn't have any on-hand.

And as his symptoms got worse — vomiting, loss of consciousness — it was clear he needed medical intervention.

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Just minutes into a Cleveland Cavaliers' game against the Atlanta Hawks, Cavs star Kevin Love knew something was wrong.

He was out of breath but struggled his way through the first half of the Nov. 5, 2017, game anyway. Moments into the third quarter, it hit him. Hard. For the first time in his life, he was having a panic attack. In an essay for The Players Tribune, Love described the experience:

"I felt my heart racing faster than usual. Then I was having trouble catching my breath. It’s hard to describe, but everything was spinning, like my brain was trying to climb out of my head. The air felt thick and heavy. My mouth was like chalk. ... I was just hoping my heart would stop racing. It was like my body was trying to say to me, 'You’re about to die.' I ended up on the floor in the training room, lying on my back, trying to get enough air to breathe."

The essay is a beautiful, honest look at mental health stigma.

Love described the panic attack "as real as a broken hand or a sprained ankle." He went to the hospital that night, thinking that something was wrong with him, but every test came back totally clear. That's part of what makes panic attacks so scary: The physical symptoms are there, and they are very real. While it's easy to dismiss a panic attack as being all in your head, it's a whole different story while you're having it.

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