Anxiety attacks, also known as panic attacks are episodes of intense panic or fear. They usually occur suddenly and without warning.
Sometimes there’s an obvious trigger but in other cases, the attacks come out of the blue.
Anxiety attacks usually peak within 10 minutes, and they rarely last more than 30 minutes.
But during that short time, you may experience terror so severe that you feel as if you’re about to die or totally lose control.
The physical symptoms are themselves so frightening that you may think they are having a heart attack.
After an anxiety attack is over, you may worry about having another one, particularly in a public place where help isn’t available or you can’t easily escape.
Below are 10 anxiety attack symptoms you should be aware of:
1. Surge of overwhelming panic.
2. Feeling of losing control or going crazy.
3. Heart palpitations or chest pain.
4. Feeling like you are going to pass out.
5. Trouble breathing or choking sensation.
7. Hot flashes or chills.
8. Trembling or shaking.
9. Nausea or stomach cramps.
10. Feeling detached, lost or unreal.
It’s important to seek help if you are starting to avoid certain situations because you are afraid of having a panic attack.
The truth is that panic attacks are highly treatable. In fact, many people are panic free within just 5 to 8 treatment sessions.
When to seek professional help
While self-help coping strategies can be very effective, if your worries, fears, or anxiety attacks have become so great that they aree causing extreme distress or disrupting your daily routine, it’s important to seek professional help.
If you are experiencing a lot of physical symptoms, you should start by getting a medical checkup.
Your doctor can check to make sure that your anxiety isn’t caused by a medical condition, such as a thyroid problem, hypoglycemia, or asthma.
Since certain drugs and supplements can cause anxiety, your doctor will also want to know about any prescriptions, medications, herbal remedies, and recreational drugs you are taking.
If your physician rules out a medical cause, the next step is to consult with a therapist who has experience treating anxiety disorders.
The therapist will work with you to determine the cause and type of your disorder and devise a course of treatment.