Symptoms for panic attacks and anxiety

Panic attacks and panic disorder - Symptoms and causes


A panic attack is a sudden episode of intense fear that triggers severe physical reactions when there is no real danger or apparent cause. Panic attacks can be very frightening. When panic attacks occur, you might think you're losing control, having a heart attack or even dying.

Many people have just one or two panic attacks in their lifetimes, and the problem goes away, perhaps when a stressful situation ends. But if you've had recurrent, unexpected panic attacks and spent long periods in constant fear of another attack, you may have a condition called panic disorder.

Although panic attacks themselves aren't life-threatening, they can be frightening and significantly affect your quality of life. But treatment can be very effective.

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Panic attacks typically begin suddenly, without warning. They can strike at any time — when you're driving a car, at the mall, sound asleep or in the middle of a business meeting. You may have occasional panic attacks, or they may occur frequently.

Panic attacks have many variations, but symptoms usually peak within minutes. You may feel fatigued and worn out after a panic attack subsides.

Panic attacks typically include some of these signs or symptoms:

  • Sense of impending doom or danger
  • Fear of loss of control or death
  • Rapid, pounding heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Shortness of breath or tightness in your throat
  • Chills
  • Hot flashes
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Chest pain
  • Headache
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness or faintness
  • Numbness or tingling sensation
  • Feeling of unreality or detachment

One of the worst things about panic attacks is the intense fear that you'll have another one. You may fear having panic attacks so much that you avoid certain situations where they may occur.

When to see a doctor

If you have panic attack symptoms, seek medical help as soon as possible. Panic attacks, while intensely uncomfortable, are not dangerous. But panic attacks are hard to manage on your own, and they may get worse without treatment.

Panic attack symptoms can also resemble symptoms of other serious health problems, such as a heart attack, so it's important to get evaluated by your primary care provider if you aren't sure what's causing your symptoms.

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It's not known what causes panic attacks or panic disorder, but these factors may play a role:

  • Genetics
  • Major stress
  • Temperament that is more sensitive to stress or prone to negative emotions
  • Certain changes in the way parts of your brain function

Panic attacks may come on suddenly and without warning at first, but over time, they're usually triggered by certain situations.

Some research suggests that your body's natural fight-or-flight response to danger is involved in panic attacks. For example, if a grizzly bear came after you, your body would react instinctively. Your heart rate and breathing would speed up as your body prepared for a life-threatening situation. Many of the same reactions occur in a panic attack. But it's unknown why a panic attack occurs when there's no obvious danger present.

More Information

  • Nocturnal panic attacks: What causes them?

Risk factors

Symptoms of panic disorder often start in the late teens or early adulthood and affect more women than men.

Factors that may increase the risk of developing panic attacks or panic disorder include:

  • Family history of panic attacks or panic disorder
  • Major life stress, such as the death or serious illness of a loved one
  • A traumatic event, such as sexual assault or a serious accident
  • Major changes in your life, such as a divorce or the addition of a baby
  • Smoking or excessive caffeine intake
  • History of childhood physical or sexual abuse


Left untreated, panic attacks and panic disorder can affect almost every area of your life. You may be so afraid of having more panic attacks that you live in a constant state of fear, ruining your quality of life.

Complications that panic attacks may cause or be linked to include:

  • Development of specific phobias, such as fear of driving or leaving your home
  • Frequent medical care for health concerns and other medical conditions
  • Avoidance of social situations
  • Problems at work or school
  • Depression, anxiety disorders and other psychiatric disorders
  • Increased risk of suicide or suicidal thoughts
  • Alcohol or other substance misuse
  • Financial problems

For some people, panic disorder may include agoraphobia — avoiding places or situations that cause you anxiety because you fear being unable to escape or get help if you have a panic attack. Or you may become reliant on others to be with you in order to leave your home.


There's no sure way to prevent panic attacks or panic disorder. However, these recommendations may help.

  • Get treatment for panic attacks as soon as possible to help stop them from getting worse or becoming more frequent.
  • Stick with your treatment plan to help prevent relapses or worsening of panic attack symptoms.
  • Get regular physical activity, which may play a role in protecting against anxiety.

By Mayo Clinic Staff


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Symptoms of Panic & Anxiety Attacks

Written by WebMD Editorial Contributors

In this Article

  • What Should I Ask My Doctor?
  • How Can I Learn More About Anxiety?

Panic attacks are intense periods of fear or feelings of doom developing over a very short time frame -- up to 10 minutes -- and associated with at least four of the following:

  • Overwhelming fear (of losing control or going crazy)
  • Palpitations
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sense of choking
  • Chest pain
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • A feeling of being detached from the world (de-realization)
  • Fear of dying
  • Numbness or tingling in the limbs or entire body
  • Chills or hot flushes

Panic attacks and panic disorder are not the same thing. Panic disorder involves recurrent panic attacks along with constant fears about having future attacks and, often, avoiding situations that may trigger or remind someone of previous or unexpected attacks. Not all panic attacks are caused by panic disorder. Sometimes, they’re related to conditions like:

  • Social phobia
  • Agoraphobia (fear of not being able to escape, such as flying in an airplane or being in crowds)
  • Other anxiety disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Doctors will often look for other medical conditions that might trigger or be related to panic attacks or similar episodes. They might include:

  • Thyroid problems
  • Asthma or other breathing problems
  • Heart problems such as abnormal rhythms or mitral valve prolapse
  • Neurologic problems such as seizures
  • Stimulant or other substance use

Generalized anxiety disorder is excessive and unrealistic worry over a period of at least 6 months. It is associated with at least three of the following symptoms:

  • Restlessness
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability or anger
  • Muscle tension, aches, or soreness
  • Sleep disturbances

Phobic disorders are intense, persistent, and recurrent fear of certain objects (such as snakes, spiders, blood) or situations (such as heights, speaking in front of a group, public places). These exposures may trigger a panic attack. Social phobia and agoraphobia are examples of phobic disorders.

Posttraumatic stress disorder -- or PTSD -- was considered to be a type of anxiety disorder in earlier versions of the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. But in 2013, PTSD was reclassified as its own condition. It describes a range of emotional reactions caused by exposure to either death or near-death circumstances (such as fires, floods, earthquakes, shootings, assault, automobile accidents, or wars) or to events that threaten one's own or another person's physical well-being. The traumatic event is re-experienced with fear of feelings of helplessness or horror and may appear in thoughts and dreams. Common behaviors include the following:

  • Avoiding activities, places, or people associated with the event
  • Persistently re-experiencing the traumatic event, such as:
    • Unwanted memories
    • Nightmares or flashbacks
    • Emotional or physical distress when experiencing reminders of the trauma
  • Changes in arousal or reactivity, including:
    • Trouble concentrating
    • Trouble sleeping
    • Being hypervigilant (you closely watch your surroundings) or being easily startled
    • Irritability or aggression
    • Risky behavior
  • Negative changes in feelings and thoughts, such as:
    • Feeling a general sense of doom and gloom with diminished emotions (such as loving feelings or aspirations for the future)
    • Feeling isolated or negative about the world
    • Less interest in activities
    • Exaggerated feelings of blame for self or others about the trauma
    • Negative thoughts and feelings about the world

Symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, palpitations, dizziness, fainting, and weakness should not be automatically attributed to anxiety and require evaluation by a doctor.

What Should I Ask My Doctor?

If you have anxiety or were recently diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, consider asking your doctor these questions at your next visit.

  1. How did I get anxiety? Is there a chance I passed this on to my kids?
  2. Are there any underlying medical problems that could be causing my anxiety symptoms?
  3. What are my treatment options for anxiety? Will I need to take an anxiety drug? Will I take it every day or as needed? How long will I need to take it?
  4. What side effects can I expect from medications? Is there a way to minimize or prevent side effects?
  5. What should I do if I miss a dose of medication?
  6. Should I begin therapy sessions? Which type and for how long?
  7. How long before I can expect to feel better?
  8. Once treated, how likely is it that my anxiety symptoms will return?
  9. What lifestyle changes can I make to help me feel better?
  10. How will alcohol or other drugs interact with my medication or affect my anxiety?

How Can I Learn More About Anxiety?

These organizations offer information about and resources for anxiety disorders:

Anxiety Disorders Association of America

This nonprofit organization is dedicated to advocacy and education about anxiety disorders. This link will take you to its website:

Anxiety and Depression Association of America

American Psychological Association

Get information on anxiety and help finding a psychologist. This link will take you to its website:

American Psychological Association

American Psychiatric Association

Learn more about children’s anxiety disorders and other mental health problems. Get help in finding a psychiatrist. This link will take you to the website:

American Psychiatric Association

National Alliance on Mental Illness

Learn more about panic disorder, phobias, and treatment that helps. This link will take you to the website:

National Alliance on Mental Illness

Anxiety & Panic Disorders Guide

  1. Overview
  2. Symptoms & Types
  3. Treatment & Care
  4. Living & Managing

What is a panic attack? | doc.


A panic attack is a brief episode of intense anxiety that causes physical sensations of fear, such as rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, or dizziness. Panic attacks occur frequently and unexpectedly and are usually not associated with any external threat. This is a very common ailment that occurs in about 35% of people at least once in a lifetime. Read more about what panic attacks are in the article.

Causes of panic attacks

When the body faces immediate danger, the brain tells the autonomic nervous system to activate the fight-or-flight response. The causes of panic attacks are that the body is flooded with a number of chemicals, including adrenaline, which cause physiological changes. For example, heart rate and breathing increase and blood rushes to the muscles to prepare for physical fight or flight.

A panic attack is said to occur when the fight-or-flight response is triggered, but there is no danger. A person may experience panic attack symptoms in harmless and apparently stress-free situations, such as watching TV or sleeping. nine0005

What triggers a panic attack? Some of the factors that can cause the body to inappropriately activate the fight-or-flight response include:

  • chronic (permanent) stress - this causes the body to produce higher than normal levels of stress chemicals such as adrenaline;
  • Acute stress, such as experiencing a traumatic event (panic attack after the death of a loved one), can suddenly flood the body with large amounts of stress-causing chemicals; nine0017
  • intense exercise - some people may experience a panic attack after sports;
  • excessive consumption of caffeine (panic attacks after coffee) - caffeine in coffee, tea and other drinks is a strong stimulant;
  • illness, e.g. panic attack after covid;
  • sudden change in environment, such as moving into a crowded, hot or stuffy place.

Types of panic attacks

Panic disorders are divided into the following types:

  • Spontaneous or unplanned panic attacks occur without warning or out of the blue. No situational or environmental triggers are associated with the attack. These types of panic attacks can even occur during sleep.
  • Expected or situational panic attacks are panic attacks that occur when actually or expectedly exposed to certain situations. These situations become signals or triggers for a panic attack. For example, a person who is afraid of enclosed spaces (claustrophobia) might expect panic attacks in elevators or other tight spaces. A person who is afraid of flying (aerophobia) can predictably have a panic attack while boarding an airplane, during takeoff, or at some point during a flight. For example, a person with a fear of enclosed spaces may experience a panic attack upon entering or the thought of entering an elevator. nine0017
  • Conditioned panic attacks is a type of panic attack that occurs due to a chemical or biological trigger of the nervous system, such as a panic attack after alcohol, smoking or drugs. It can also occur with changes in hormonal levels, for example, a panic attack during pregnancy or after childbirth.

Panic Attack Test

We invite you to take a short panic attack test to determine if you have one. Answer “yes”, “no” or “not sure” to the 21 questions below. nine0005

  1. Do you have anxiety or panic attacks?
  2. Do you have seizures during which you do not feel very anxious, but you feel discomfort from the sudden and rapid development of some physiologically unpleasant symptoms?
  3. Is there pulsation, palpitation, rapid pulse?
  4. Is there sweating?
  5. Does it cause chills, tremors, a feeling of internal trembling?
  6. Is there a feeling of lack of air, shortness of breath? nine0017
  7. Is there pain or discomfort in the left side of the chest?
  8. Is there nausea or discomfort in the abdomen?
  9. Is there dizziness, unsteadiness, or pre-syncope at such times?
  10. Does everything around you feel strange, unreal, foggy, or detached?
  11. Is there a fear of going crazy or acting out of control?
  12. Is there a feeling of numbness or tingling in the arms or legs? nine0017
  13. Does it feel like waves of heat or cold are passing through the body?
  14. Are these symptoms accompanied by fear of death (thoughts of death or a sense of imminent death)?
  15. Do these attacks last an average of 15 to 30 minutes (or longer)?
  16. Is it common for you to experience states of general weakness and weakness after such attacks?
  17. Do you have a sensation of a lump in your throat at such moments?
  18. Do they cause you a feeling of constant anxiety and fear associated with the expectation of their repetition? nine0017
  19. Do they cause anxiety about possible complications of seizures or their consequences (fear of losing control of oneself, fear of serious illness)?
  20. Do these attacks cause significant changes in your daily behavior (for example, being forced to go out less often, visit some places, etc. )?
  21. Are these conditions associated with certain "threatening" situations (for example, travel in transport, large crowds, etc.)?
  22. nine0102

    Count the number of yes answers. If you got 10 or more “yes” answers, then most likely you are prone to developing panic attacks.

    Important! This test does not provide an accurate assessment or diagnosis of a possible disorder. If you get a positive result, seek help from a psychotherapist.

    Symptoms of panic attacks

    • anxious and irrational thinking;
    • strong feeling of fear, premonition of danger;
    • fear of going crazy, losing control or dying; nine0017
    • dizziness, presyncope or syncope;
    • tingling and chilliness, especially in the arms and hands;
    • trembling or shaking;
    • shortness of breath or tightness in the throat;
    • chills;
    • sweating;
    • hot flashes;
    • palpitations;
    • chest tightness;
    • shortness of breath, including shortness of breath;
    • nausea or indigestion;
    • abdominal cramps;
    • dry mouth; nine0017
    • a feeling of unreality and isolation from the outside world.

    Symptoms of a panic attack

    How do the symptoms of a panic attack appear? The main signs of a panic attack in humans:

    1. Inability to concentrate.
    2. Inability to relax.
    3. Constant expectation of danger.
    4. Absentmindedness.
    5. Constant state of irritability.
    6. Feeling of tension.

    How to distinguish a panic attack from a stroke

    Panic attack or stroke? Although they share a number of similarities, the two conditions result from very different disease processes. Panic attacks occur when stress hormones trigger the body's "fight or flight" response, often resulting in a racing heart, chest pain, and shortness of breath. In the event of a heart attack, blockage of a coronary artery can lead to the same symptoms. Chest pain, heart palpitations, and shortness of breath can occur when not enough blood reaches the heart muscle. nine0005

    One of the key differences between the two is that a heart attack often develops during exercise, while a panic attack can occur at rest. Both panic attacks and strokes can occur fairly quickly, but strokes are almost always instantaneous, while a panic attack usually peaks in about 10 minutes and then slowly subsides.

    How to distinguish between hypertension and panic attacks

    How to distinguish between a hypertensive crisis and a panic attack? A panic attack can lead to high blood pressure. Hypertension or panic attack? A panic attack causes many physical symptoms, including an increased heart rate and shallow breathing, which can cause a temporary increase in blood pressure to be confused with hypertension. However, despite all the similar symptoms, panic attacks do not cause long-term high blood pressure (hypertension). Episodes of anxiety can only cause sudden temporary spikes in blood pressure. nine0005

    What to do about a panic attack

    Panic attacks can be frightening and can overwhelm you quickly. Here are strategies you can use to try to stop or deal with panic attacks. Some may help you in the moment, while others may help you in the long run.

    How to deal with a panic attack - on your own

    1. Remember that this will pass. During a panic attack, remember that these feelings will pass and will not cause physical harm, no matter how scary they may seem at the time. Panic attacks usually reach their peak within 10 minutes of onset, and then the symptoms begin to subside. nine0017
    2. Breathe deeply. Try to breathe slowly and deeply, concentrating on each breath.
    3. Find a quiet place. How to help yourself with a panic attack? Sights and sounds can often intensify a panic attack. If possible, try to find a quieter place. This could mean leaving a busy room or moving to lean against a nearby wall.
    4. Focus on the object. How to quickly stop a panic attack? When you are overwhelmed with disturbing thoughts, feelings, or memories, focusing on something physical in your environment can help you feel grounded. nine0017
    5. Go for a walk or light exercise. How to deal with panic attacks on your own? Walking can take you out of a stressful environment, and walking rhythm can also help regulate your breathing.
    6. Learn your triggers. I have panic attacks, what should I do? A person's panic attacks can often be caused by the same things, such as an enclosed space or a crowd. By learning to manage or avoid your triggers, you can reduce the frequency and intensity of your panic attacks. nine0017
    7. Keep lavender handy. How to quickly relieve a panic attack? Lavender is a traditional remedy that many people use for stress relief and relaxation.

    Panic Attack Meditations

    Meditation is an effective way to deal with panic attacks when you're in the middle of one, or as a way to reduce your stress levels and make them less likely. Here are some of the most common meditation techniques for panic attacks:

    Breathing meditation

    Mindful breathing

    Lie down and put your hands on your chest. Never try to control your breathing. Just notice how your breath rises and falls on your palms.

    Lengthen your exhalations

    Inhale as deeply as you can, but concentrate on exhaling, saying "O" with your mouth, and then exhaling as much as you can.

    Square breath

    Inhale for four seconds, hold your breath for four seconds, exhale for four seconds, and then hold your breath for another four seconds.

    Abdominal breathing

    Lie down or sit in a comfortable position. Place your hand on your stomach and inhale deeply until your stomach expands with your breath. Then exhale from the lower abdomen, all the way out of the mouth until your breath is released.

    Mantra meditation

    Another meditation technique for panic attacks is the “mantra”. A mantra is a word, phrase or sound that helps focus and gives strength. Repeating a mantra internally can help a person come out of a panic attack. The mantra should be a simple positive statement, such as "This will pass now" or "This is just my anxiety saying - I know I'll be fine soon." Repeating positive affirmations to yourself or out loud can help interrupt the flow of negative thoughts you are experiencing and reduce anxiety. nine0005

    Panic Attack Exercises

    Method 4-7-8

    People can also try breathing exercises for panic attacks - 4-7-8 breathing or "relaxation breathing". With this technique, the person inhales for 4 seconds, holds the breath for 7 seconds, then exhales slowly for 8 seconds.

    Method 5-4-3-2-1

    Panic attacks can make a person feel disconnected from reality. This is due to the fact that the intensity of anxiety can prevail over other feelings. Panic attack exercises include the 5-4-3-2-1 method, which is a type of grounding technique and a type of mindfulness. This helps to divert the attention of the person from the sources of stress. nine0005

    To use this method, the person must slowly and carefully perform each of the following steps:

    • Look at 5 separate objects. Think about each for a moment.
    • Listen to 4 different sounds. Think about where they come from and what makes them different.
    • Touch 3 items. Think about their texture, temperature, and how to use them.
    • Identify 2 different odors. It could be the smell of coffee, soap, or laundry detergent on your clothes. nine0017
    • Name 1 thing you can try. Notice how it tastes in your mouth, or try tasting the candy.

    Muscle relaxation method

    Another symptom of panic attacks is muscle tension. Practicing muscle relaxation can help limit an attack. This is because if the mind feels like the body is relaxing, other symptoms such as rapid breathing may also decrease.

    A technique called progressive muscle relaxation is a popular method for dealing with anxiety and panic attacks. This involves tensing and then relaxing the various muscles in turn. Performing an exercise for a panic attack:

    • hold the voltage for 5 seconds;
    • say "relax" by relaxing the muscle;
    • allow the muscle to relax for 10 seconds before moving on to the next muscle.

    How to help someone with a panic attack

    What to do if another person has a panic attack? If you are in a situation where someone has a panic attack in your presence, here are a few ways you can help:

    1. Remain calm. Even if you yourself are a little afraid, remain calm and try to calm the other person: reassure him that you will not leave; remind him that the attack won't last long; say the person is safe.
    2. Ask how you can help. What to do with a person with a panic attack? Most people who experience panic attacks or live with other types of anxiety have their own methods of dealing with them. When offering support, keep in mind that your loved one knows best what will help them the most. nine0017
    3. Study the warning signs. If you haven't already, take the time to become familiar with how people behave during a panic attack. Not everyone experiences panic attacks in the same way, so it's best to ask what signs your loved one tends to experience. The sooner you understand what's going on, the sooner you can help.
    4. Make your words more effective. Instead of phrases like “don't worry” or constant questions like “are you okay”, say more specific phrases. Ask if the person would like to leave the room and go somewhere else; remind him to keep breathing; engage him in light conversation if he says he doesn't want to talk. nine0017
    Panic attack at night

    What should I do if I have a panic attack at night? Try doing something relaxing to switch your focus, like meditating, listening to soothing music, reading a book, or even doing housework like ironing. Panic attack at night, how to calm down? Return to bed only when you feel tired again and are ready to sleep.

    How to get rid of panic attacks

    How to get rid of panic attacks? There are two main methods of getting rid of panic attacks: psychotherapy (without pills), drug therapy, and a combination of both. Which Doctor Treats Panic Attacks? Depending on the severity of the disease, the psychotherapist selects the appropriate treatment. nine0005

    Panic attack treatment

    How are panic attacks treated? Treatment of panic attacks in Kyiv involves the use of the most popular method in psychotherapy - cognitive behavioral therapy.

    1. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT teaches different ways of thinking, behaving, and responding to feelings during or before a panic attack. Attacks can become less frequent if you learn to respond differently to the physical feelings of anxiety and fear during a panic attack. nine0017
    2. Exposure therapy is a common cognitive behavioral therapy that focuses on confronting the fears and beliefs associated with panic disorder to help you engage in activities you have been avoiding. Exposure therapy is sometimes used in conjunction with relaxation exercises.

    Medicines for panic attacks

    Medicines may be useful in the treatment of panic disorder and panic attacks, especially when combined with psychotherapy. If you are experiencing symptoms of anxiety or panic, talk to your healthcare provider about medications that may be right for you. Various types of medications for panic attacks can be effective, including:

    1. Antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs).
    2. Beta blockers.
    3. Anti-anxiety drugs such as benzodiazepines.

    What to drink for panic attacks? You can also drink a sedative to quickly help with a panic attack. However, it is important to remember that it will not eliminate the root cause of the disease, but only temporarily relieve its symptoms. Top medicines for panic attacks include:

    • corvalol for panic attacks;
    • glycine for panic attacks;
    • bifren for panic attacks;
    • quetixol for panic attacks;
    • Novo-Passit, Persen, Valemedin.

    Attention! Before using any of the above drugs, you should consult your doctor.

    Sequelae of panic attacks

    Untreated panic attacks and panic disorder can affect almost every area of ​​your life. You may be so afraid of recurring panic attacks that you live in constant fear, destroying the quality of your life. Complications that panic attacks can cause or be associated with include:

    1. Development of specific phobias such as fear of driving or leaving the house.
    2. Frequent medical attention for health problems and other illnesses.
    3. Avoidance of social situations.
    4. Problems at work or school.
    5. Post-panic depression, anxiety disorders and other psychiatric disorders.
    6. Increased risk of suicide or suicidal thoughts.
    7. Alcohol or other substance abuse. nine0017
    8. Financial problems.

    In some people, panic disorder may include agoraphobia - avoidance of places or situations that make you anxious because you are afraid that you will not be able to escape or seek help in case of a panic attack. Or you may become dependent on others to be with you to leave your home.

    Help you can make an appointment with a psychotherapist on the website.

    Article "X-Clinic" - Symptoms of panic attacks and how to deal with them

    February 14, 2020

    Anxiety disorders are common in metropolitan areas. The editors of talked to a psychotherapist and learned everything about panic attacks first hand. Details - in our material!

    What is a panic attack

    A panic attack is an attack of sudden fear and intense anxiety for no apparent reason. The origins of panic disorder are not entirely clear. However, it is believed that the disease has a genetic predisposition and more often affects the fair sex. Women are more prone to panic attacks and suffer from this disorder 2-3 times more often than men. nine0005

    Panic attacks cannot lead to death, despite the fact that this is the sensation that most often accompanies them. The more frequent attacks occur, the worse the quality of life becomes. People who have repeatedly experienced panic attacks become increasingly anxious and subconsciously try to avoid places or situations where and when they succumbed to fear. Those who have ever experienced an attack at night, subsequently face sleep disorders.

    What are the symptoms of a panic attack

    A panic attack is a case of an attack of fear with a sense of imminent death or anxiety, accompanied by certain symptoms. Most often, these include: rapid heartbeat and pulse, sweating, chills or a feeling of heat, tremors, shortness of breath and suffocation, dizziness, fainting, fear of death, and others. If 4 of the symptoms listed above are present, we can talk about an attack of a panic attack.

    What to do in case of a panic attack

    The most important thing to do during a panic attack is to shift your attention. Any method is fine for distraction. If the attack caught you in a public place, then you can clench and unclench your fists, rub your earlobes or step from foot to foot. If the panic caught you by surprise at home, try turning on the music, start doing household chores: washing dishes, dusting. Any activity that involves muscle work and requires attention will do. nine0005

    Since a panic attack is accompanied by a rapid heartbeat and a feeling of stuffiness, it will not be superfluous to take a couple of sips of water and concentrate on breathing. It is best to learn a few techniques that will quickly relieve tension. In case of an attack, start with an exhalation - slow it down, and the pulse will also slow down. The ratio of the length of inhalation and exhalation should be 1:2. You can experiment and choose the technique that will help you. A smartphone can also help to distract from panic. Games, social networks - all this will switch attention and distract from a panic attack. nine0005

    How ordinary anxiety differs from a panic attack

    The mechanism that triggers a panic attack is no different from what causes ordinary anxiety - both are psychophysical reactions to danger. The difference is that a panic attack is a reaction to danger in the absence of danger. Nevertheless, a false alarm triggers the same cascade of reactions as a normal alarm - the sympathetic system is activated, adrenaline is released.

    A panic attack can occur against the background of excessive physical exertion, overwork and exhaustion, as well as against the background of the abuse of stimulants and alcohol. In addition, stress and unresolved conflict situations can provoke an attack. Lack of understanding of one's own experiences and feelings, a tendency to avoid negative emotions and ignore them also increase vulnerability to panic disorder.

    How to prevent a panic attack from turning into a panic disorder

    Panic disorder is characterized by a number of symptoms, one of which is a panic attack. In order to make a diagnosis of "panic disorder", it is necessary that panic episodes manifest themselves constantly for a month and are not associated with threats, dangers and previous diseases. In addition, attacks should be accompanied by the following symptoms: anxiety about the repetition of attacks, loss of self-control, a sharp change in behavior. nine0005

    How to treat panic attacks and when to see a specialist

    Seeing a specialist for recurring panic attacks is a must. Therapy is selected individually and, as a rule, includes psychotherapeutic work and drug therapy. Psychotherapy implies a variety of techniques aimed at understanding and understanding the causes of problems, learning how to deal with the symptoms of the disease, methods of relaxation. Psychotherapy can take place in the form of individual meetings with a psychotherapist or in the form of group sessions with other patients. Drug therapy for panic disorder is carried out with various drugs that help reduce anxiety and fear. Appointment, correction of dosages and cancellation of treatment must be carried out under the supervision of a physician. nine0005

    Modern neurotechnologies can also help in the treatment of panic attacks.

    Learn more