If you have ever experienced a sudden surge of overwhelming fear and deep anxiety, so severe, that your heart rate pulsated through the roof, you felt like you were being smothered and were about to die; then you suffered from a bout of a panic attack. This is an inexplicable feeling and the severity of the fear that one experiences during a panic attack cannot be easily fathomed or understood unless you have experienced one yourself. The suddenness of a panic attack is unnerving. You could experience one even when you are very relaxed or sleeping. They do not occur with any sort of warnings or prior symptoms. They just strike.
Panic attacks are common and can strike even the most seemingly emotionally stable person, anytime and anywhere. Often, when one is passing through a tough period of extreme stress and anxiety, a panic attack is natural. It occurs only because your brain and nerve impulses go into an overdrive due to all the pressure that it has endured. Such attacks have no serious or chronic after effects and is harmless.
The signs and symptoms of panic attacks are short lived and reach a crescendo within the span of the bout. A panic attack generally lasts for 10-15 minutes and in rare cases can stretch up to 20-30 minutes. A typical panic attack will exude the following signs and symptoms of panic attacks –
1. Hyper ventilation and breathless
2. Severe heart palpitations
3. Chest pain or cramps
4. Feeling of being smothered or choked
6. Profuse sweating
7. Nauseous feeling at the pit of the stomach
9. Hot flushes
10. Overwhelming fear and loss of bodily and mental control
A single panic attack is no reason to worry about your health. But, recurrent bouts of panic attacks can lead to panic disorder or depression. Panic disorder can cause recurrent and repetitive panic attacks and can eventually change one’s behavior and lead to tremendous anxiety at all times, partly because of the constant fear of experiencing the next unprecedented panic attack. A panic disorder victims eventually fear being alone or going to public places, and begin to lose all self-confidence and the persistent fear can distort one’s mental state.
But, now things are much better for the patients, since, panic disorder and panic attacks can now be medically treated with efficient techniques. Also, one is taught how to cope with the panic attacks in the best possible way. It is better to resort to treatment for depression or panic disorder as soon as possible, before it can negatively damage your state of well-being and normalcy.
Panic attacks subside as suspiciously and abruptly as they arise. The degree of severity of panic attack symptoms can differ with every person, but what a person goes through in his mind and body in those precise moments is indescribable. The word “panic” becomes an understatement to describe panic attacks. When it strikes, it strikes like a bolt of lightning.