Arts·ARTS X RADIO

'18 years old and I think I'm having a heart attack': This is how a panic attack feels, animated

Filmmaker Karla Monterrosa animates one woman's memory of her first panic attack, triggered by a dangerous eating disorder, in this clip from CBC Radio's Campus.

Filmmaker Karla Monterrosa animates one woman's memory of her first panic attack

Filmmaker Karla Monterrosa animates one woman's memory of her first panic attack, triggered by a dangerous eating disorder, in this clip from CBC Radio's Campus. 1:20

What does it feel like to have a panic attack? In this animated short from our Arts x Radio collaboration, Vancouver-based filmmaker and illustrator Karla Monterrosa animates a clip from CBC Radio's Campus to imagine what it's like inside an 18-year-old's mind and body during her first attack.

The audio excerpt from CBC Radio's Campus podcast is Meredith Healey's first-person account of how her dangerous obsession with weight loss in university triggered panic attacks. The episode —which she mistook for a heart attack— was a terrifying experience for the then 18-year-old, who would later be diagnosed with anorexia.

(Animation by Karla Monterrosa)

Monterrosa's animation takes us inside the hospital room with Healey in the moment: "All I want to do is rip my fingers into my chest and pull my heart out because it won't stop beating against my ribs."

For more of Meredith Healey's story about her experience with and recovery from an eating disorder in university, listen to the full episode of Campus here.

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