Panic attack symptoms can be distressing in the extreme, even terrifying. Rather than a disorder in themselves, panic attacks are one of the symptoms of anxiety or panic disorders. Not only is a panic attack an extremely scary experience, it can take days to recover from one.
Panic attack symptoms
People often describe the symptoms of a panic attack as being the most terrifying and upsetting experiences they have ever had. They are different from other types of anxiety by their episodic nature and their intensity.
When a person experiences a panic attackfor the first time, they may often mistake it for having a heart attack or a nervous breakdown.
They may even feel as though they’re going mad or that they are dying because of the intensity of the symptoms.
A very fast heartbeat, chest palpitations and pain or discomfort in the chest are among the symptoms.
A person may have shortness of breath, dyspnea or difficulty breathing and may feel as though they are choking.
Feeling dizzy and lightheaded; feeling as though one was about to pass out are also panic attack symptoms.
A person can also feel sick to the stomach (nausea) or have abdominal cramps.
There may even be some amount of numbness or tingling sensations a condition known as parenthesizes.
There is an overwhelming feeling of panic and of being out of control; there can even be the foreboding of death.
There is often a feeling of unreality and a sense of detachment from the self; as though a person were disconnected from their own self and their own experiences.
Other symptoms of a panic attack could be culture specific: there could be tinnitus (ringing in the ears), headaches, neck soreness and bouts of uncontrollable screaming and crying.
What to do if you have panic attack symptoms
Firstly learn about panic, your symptoms and why they occur. It will demystify your experiences and help you cope when you understand that you’re not really going crazy, this is just your body’s extreme defensive reaction to certain situations.
Learn about breathing and other relaxation techniques. These will not only help to avoid attacks they will also in controlling the severity of the symptoms. Stimulants such as caffeine or nicotine or even some diet pills may trigger panic attack symptoms so avoid these.