What is a panic attack?
- Breathing quickly
- Increased pounding heartbeat
- Sudden and overwhelming fear and sense of loss of control
- With a bad panic attack, you may worry that you are going to die
Panic attacks come on very quickly, symptoms usually peaking within 10 minutes.Most panic attacks last for between 5 and 20 minutes.
Sometimes, A panic attack is an exaggeration of the body’s normal response to fear, stress or excitement. It is the rapid build-up of overwhelming sensations, such as a pounding heartbeat, feeling faint, sweating, nausea, chest pains, breathing discomfort, feelings of losing control and legs turning to jelly.
Some people report attacks lasting for up to an hour, but they are likely to be experiencing a high level of anxiety after the initial attack. You may have one or two panic attacks and never experience another. Or you may have attacks once a month or several times each week. For some people they seem to come without warning and strike at random.
If the anxiety stays at a high level for a long time, you may feel that it is difficult to deal with everyday life. The anxiety may become severe and you feel out of control and fear you are going mad.
If you experience this, you may fear that you are going mad, blacking out, or having a heart attack. You may be convinced you are going to die in the course of the attack – making this a terrifying experience.
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