Experience the pain of a panic attack, even if you don't have anxiety

Aug 9, 2016 at 1:00 a.m. ET

It's almost impossible for non-sufferers to understand what people with anxiety experience during a panic attack.

Until now.

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A new video published by SoulPancake takes panic attacks into the virtual reality realm by showing what they look and feel like. The video narrator first describes how she knows a panic attack is coming, then slides into a full-on attack, complete with frenetic imagery that's all too familiar to those who suffer from them.

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More than 40 million Americans over the age of 18 experience some sort of anxiety disorder, some more severe than others. We — as in, the public in general — are just starting to speak more openly about mental illness and how it affects lives and overall wellness.

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But there's still so much more that needs to be understood about anxiety and mental illness in general. People who experience panic attacks can't just "get over it" with a couple of finger snaps. In reality, anxiety and panic attacks can only be managed, not cured, with medication, talk therapy and exercise.

"I hope that my 'virtual panic attack' can help you feel less alone in what you're going through or bring some insight to those who want to learn more about mental health issues," the narrator captioned along with the video.

It might not erase anxiety, but hopefully this video will make it seem a little more real because, well, she pretty much nails what it's like to have a panic attack.

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