Panic attacks tend to go through similar timelines, but it should be noted that the symptoms themselves are often different, and affected by how the person reacts to their anxiety.
Generally panic attacks go through the following structure:
This may be described as feeling “panicky” or as though something is going wrong. You may feel like your heart is speeding up or you may feel like something is going wrong in your body but you don’t know what.
These can be small and go away in minutes, or they can build on themselves in which case they tend to last about 10 minutes or a bit longer.
The term “panic attack” describes everything that goes into an attack – from the pre-attack to the post-attack – but the actual moment of pure terror where your anxiety attack peaks tends to be less than a minute, and some people find that it peaks instantly before declining.
The peak may be nearly as severe as the “panicky” feeling leading up to an attack, however. Generally it occurs after about 10 minutes.
The Slow Decline
Once you’ve experienced the panic attack, there is often a slow decline. For some this may be as little as a few minutes. Others find that this can take hours and leave them incredibly drained. On average, it takes about 30 minutes or so for someone to recover from a panic attack, although they may feel tired and drained for hours.