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Signs and Symptoms of a Panic Attack

People with anxiety issues sometimes suffer from panic attacks when they experience intense and overwhelming fear. A panic attack can lead to physical and emotional reactions to a trigger and can make people feel as though they are losing control. Panic attacks can be debilitating because they involve a number of frightening and uncomfortable symptoms.

Panic Attack

Symptoms of a panic attack can include:

  • Sense of danger or doom
  • Fear of death or harm
  • Rapidly beating heart
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Difficulty breathing and tightness in throat
  • Sweating or chills
  • Nausea
  • Chest pain
  • Sudden headache
  • Dizziness or faintness
  • Numbness or tingling sensation
  • Feeling of detachment or unreality

When someone experiences a panic attack it can happen suddenly and without warning, causing them to feel unstable and afraid for their safety. What can make panic attacks difficult is that even after they subside the individual may have an intense fear that an attack will happen again at any moment. They may start to avoid certain situations that they feel could potentially trigger an attack.

People that suffer from panic attacks can develop them for a variety of reasons. They may have specific phobias that trigger them such as a fear of driving or leaving the house. They can also have social phobias that cause them to avoid people or public places.

Panic attacks can also sometimes be triggered by stress when it becomes overwhelming and affects the mind and body. In order to treat panic attacks it can be helpful for patients to be gradually exposed to situations that trigger them and learn strategies to cope with their stress. Medications can also be very useful in helping people manage panic attacks when they occur.

Treatment for panic attacks usually combines anxiety medication and cognitive behavioral therapy to help relieve more severe symptoms.

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