Panic Attacks

What are panic attacks?

Everyone feels panic and anxiety at times; it is a natural response to a stressful or dangerous situation. A panic attack is a sudden feeling of intense anxiety that comes on suddenly, without any warning and without any way to stop it.The level of fear is way out of proportion to the actual situation; often, in fact, it’s completely unrelated and it can even occur in your sleep. It passes in a few minutes; the body cannot sustain the “fight or flight” response for longer than that. However, repeated attacks can continue to recur for hours.

You may find that you start to live in fear of having another attack and make changes to your lifestyle to try and avoid this. The worry of having more attacks can cause an increase in anxiety that can lead to an increase in attacks thus trapping you in a cycle.

What are the symptoms?

A panic attack is the sudden onset of intense fear that reaches a peak within 4 minutes and includes at least 4 of the following symptoms:

  • Struggling to breathe
  • Pounding or racing heart
  • Feeling dizzy or light headed
  • Chest pain-people often describes feeling like they are having a heart attack
  • Sweating, trembling or shaking
  • Feeling that you are losing control
  • Numbness-feeling disconnected from your mind, body or surroundings

What are the therapies that can help?

Related issues

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How I Overcame My Anxiety & Panic Attacks