In General Knowledge for the Family, Physical & Mental Health

The Most Common Panic Attack Symptoms

Severe panic attack symptoms can be debilitating.You or your child may feel as if the world is ending, you are dying or having an intense medical emergency. Many people have visited the emergency room showing symptoms of panic attacks. It is always advisable to speak with your doctor if you have any physical symptoms that are out of the ordinary or without an explanation.

For example, if you have a persistent stomach ache, but follow have a poor diet, then you may be able to trace your symptoms to that. However, if you develop a stomach ache at the thought of going to work or school, your symptoms may be the result of excessive worry.

Anxiety Disorders

An anxiety disorder renders you almost immobile from the overwhelming worry and dread that you feel. Everyone worries at times and throughout different life events, such as a marriage, divorce or job change. However, if the worry persists, you may be experiencing an anxiety disorder. Anxiety attacks may occur once or twice throughout your lifetime and require no medical treatment. You show an appropriate response to a situation, and once it is over, your worry and anxiety levels return to normal.

Panic Attack Symptoms

When your anxiety takes over and you are unable to stop obsessively thinking about your worries and concerns, or if you obsess about the next attack, you may begin to experience physical symptoms. According to the American Psychiatric Association, Some mental symptoms of panic attacks to look for are:

  • Uncontrollable panic
  • Overwhelming fear
  • Unable to stop obsessive thoughts
  • Replaying painful memories
  • Nightmares that reoccur
  • Depression
  • Fear of dying
  • Sensing impending doom

If you have any of these mental panic attack symptoms, speak with a healthcare provider to determine a treatment plan for relief. Panic attacks are manageable with the appropriate care. Often, emotional and mental symptoms are relieved when therapy is attended. Talking about your worries and anxiety with a trained mental health professional may be all you need for relief.

What Are The Symptoms of a Panic Attack?

When your anxiety becomes severe and your symptoms move beyond the mental, your body is affected. You may have one symptom of a panic attack. Or you have experience all of these symptoms. Be vigilant with your health and realize that some of these signs can be an indication of other conditions, so it is important to seek your doctor’s advice. Physical symptoms of panic attacks include:

  • Racing heart beat
  • Chest discomfort or pain
  • Severe sweating
  • Shaking or trembling
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Stomach discomfort
  • Lightheadedness
  • Extreme cold
  • Hot flashes
  • Going numb
  • Unable to catch breath or over-breathing (hyperventilation)
  • Throat tightness- difficulty swallowing

If you have these symptoms of a panic attack, seek medical attention.

What to do when experiencing a panic attack:

Fortunately, according to the Mayo Clinic, panic attack symptoms typically last for 10 minutes. These 10 minutes may feel like three hours though when you are physically and mentally suffering and cannot stop the attack. The overwhelming anxiety and the stress response from your body leave you feeling exhausted when the attack is over.

If possible, go to a place where you can rest. Find somewhere without distractions or other worries so you can recovery and rebuild your strength and energy.

Any symptoms of panic attack may get progressively worse if you do not seek treatment. Treatment typically involves a combination of medication and therapy. With these two treatment options you can reduce your anxiety attacks and begin to enjoy your life without worry.

Overcome Your Fears

Sometimes, severe anxiety transitions into a fear of going places. You may worry that you will have an attack at work, at a store, or at your child’s school. This leaves you feeling isolated and alone. When you do not have distractions, you may focus more on your anxieties which contributes to the cycle.

If you question why you experience an anxiety disorder, ask yourself if you have any of the following factors that may be contributing to your discomfort:

  • Family members with severe anxiety
  • Living through a traumatic situation such as an accident, assault or abuse
  • Death of a loved one, or serious illness for yourself or family member
  • Any stressful event such as a court date, job change or move
  • Addition of a baby to the family
  • Physical or sexual abuse when you were a child, or as an adult

These experiences may weaken your defenses and involve the “fight or flight” response. This is a natural response to stress, but when you remain in this heightened state for a long time period, it can have an effect on your physical and mental health.

Alternative Treatments

Other things you can do to avoid severe panic attacks symptoms are to follow your treatment plan and doctor’s advice. However, there are things you can do on your own. For example, increase your physical movement. Go for a daily nature walk. Exercising can reduce your symptoms and help you feel in control of your body. You should also reduce your intake of stimulants such as caffeine and alcohol which may trigger a stress response. Try relaxation techniques such as prayer, meditation or yoga to calm you when you feel uncomfortable. You can always involve others, too, by joining support groups and learning new ways to cope with your panic attack.

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