Have you ever experienced a panic attack?
This might seem a little frightening, but the average person will experience at least one panic attack in the course of their lifetime.
This doesn’t mean you have a panic disorder, however it’s important you know what the main panic attack symptoms are and be able to recognize if you are having one.
What is a panic attack…
A panic attack is the ‘triggering’ of the so called “fight or flight” mechanism, i.e. your body’s reaction to a situation your mind perceives as stressful and requiring immediate action and resolution.
If this reaction triggers in REAL high stress times requiring an extra level of action, then it is healthy (this is the so called “eustress” or “good stress”).
When this reaction triggers at non high stress times, it becomes a panic attack.
If a panic attack is triggered frequently in your daily life it becomes a panic disorder.
Are you having a panic attack?…
So how can you tell if you are having a panic attack?
Together with tightness in your chest, there are just a few less common symptoms related to panic attacks, each varying from person to person in frequence and intensity. In fact most chronic panic sufferers tend to have a unique set of symptoms.
Here are a few more distinguishing factors behind panic attacks:
– Increased heart rate.
– Quickness of breathing.
– Overwhelming feeling of dread or fear (panic).
– Unfounded fear towards random objects or events.
– Increased body temperature.
– Tingling in one or both arms and/or the tips of the fingers.
– Profuse sweating.
– Minor delusions.
Symptoms can be daunting, a person who experiences any combination of the above panic attack symptoms has to remember that the feelings will not usually last very long. (see this article: How long can a Panic Attack Last)
The fact is, that panic attacks are very limited in time and the body can only maintain this reaction for, at most, 15 minutes.
It’s overwhelming but it won’t last forever….
It’s hard, but you won’t die. :O)