Imagine this: you’re allergic to cats. You’ve just been exposed to cat dander and your eyes are a soggy, drippy red mess. You sneeze uncontrollably multiple times in a row. Your skin becomes itchy, red, and full of welts. You’re feeling pretty miserable.
A friend walks up to you.
“Hey, no worries,” he exclaims casually, “there’s nothing to be allergic to!”
“Sure there is — I’m allergic to cats,” you’d probably say.
“Nah,” says your friend, “just stop sneezing. You’ll be okay.”
“What?! I can’t just STOP sneezing on a dime,” you retort.
“Sure you can. There’s nothing wrong with you,” he insists.
“Uhm, care to explain these welts, then? And the red eyes? And the sneezing?!”
Sounds frustrating, doesn’t it? If you suffer from allergies, you know that a reaction to an allergen can produce a truly miserable day. And while panic disorder is no allergy, it produces its own unique brand of misery, too.