During a panic attack, people feel extreme anxiety about something going on in their life. An attack can happen suddenly, without warning. Many sufferers think they are having a heart attack or are on their way to having a heart attack. Feelings of impending death are common, although one does not die from a panic attack. The symptoms of panic attacks are very real and are often very intense.

Symptoms of panic attacks appear suddenly with no real cause. They can be felt within the body in reaction to uncontrollable fear. Examples include chest pains, racing or pounding heart, difficulty in breathing, dizziness, light-headedness, upset stomach or nausea, hot flashes, chills, and numbness or tingling in the hands. Other symptoms include psychological feelings such as terror, the need to escape, dreamlike sensations, the fear of losing control or doing something embarrassing, and as mentioned before, the feeling of impending death. After the attack, the sufferer may feel very fatigued.

Panic Attack Symptom

Another symptom of panic disorders is the fear of having future panic attacks. This is understandable, since if one has had one panic attack, it is likely he or she will have another. This fear can result in avoiding situations and circumstances where one has had a prior attack, developing phobias about having panic attacks. Panic attacks differ from other anxiety disorders in that they can happen suddenly and unexpectedly. There is no provocation necessary, and they have the ability to be very disabling. When one gets into a pattern of anxiety and avoidance, a person is classified as having a panic disorder. Without treatment, they can affect one’s daily existence. Panic attacks are serious health risks, affecting 1.7% of the population, roughly 3 million people. The onset occurs most frequently in the age group of 15 to 19 years.

Panic attacks can last for several minutes and can be extremely distressing. Many of the symptoms mimic a heart attack, with individuals believing they are going to die. They also affect sleeping patterns, although most panic attacks occur during waking hours. 40% to 70% of sufferers experience such nighttime attacks. Theses sudden and abrupt awakenings appear to have no cause, and have similar symptoms to daytime attacks. The actual attacks tend to last less than 10 minutes, although it may take much longer to calm down after such an occurrence, interfering with good sleep.

Panic attack symptoms can vary from person to person, but the common thread in an uncontrollable fear. Being able to identify these symptoms are crucial if you want to rid yourself of panic attacks.

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