Symptoms of an Anxiety (Panic) Attack

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles

An Anxiety (or Panic) attack is an abnormal and irrational state of panic about a trivial thing or situation, or in some cases, for no discernible reason at all. Attacks usually occur without warning and a sufferer can simply burst into a state of fear.

It is a disproportionate reaction to the situation or the problem at hand, leaving the person excessively fearful, or sometimes incapacitated, which can affect life generally, relationships, happiness and peace of mind.

The trigger for an Anxiety attack is created initially by a traumatic experience, sometimes though, the sufferer may have no recollection of that experience being traumatic. i.e: One of the most popular causes of a panic attick attack is arogaphobia (an extreme or irrational fear of open, or public places). The traumatic experience may have been that they were scolded by their Mother while they were playing in the park and the sub-conscious has chosen the environment as the cause of the trauma.

The next time the sufferer is taken to the park (or any other open, or public place) they suffer a panic attack.

The trigger for attacks can be any area of that experience; the situation at the time, the environment, the person creating the experience, or even a particular word, or sentence that was used.


A person having an anxiety attack can suffer from any, or all of the following symptoms:

• Heart palpitation (increase in heartbeat)
• Hot flushes, or chills
• Hyperventilation
• Surge of overwhelming panic
• Feeling detached, or unreal
• Trembling, or shaking
• A feeling of having trouble breathing
• A feeling of losing control, going crazy; or fear of dying
• A choking sensation
• Nausea or stomach crams
• Sweating
• Dizziness
• Chest discomfort, or pain


Generally speaking, anxiety attacks usually peak within 5-10 minutes and rarely last for more than 20 minutes, or so.

There are many ways to control the symptoms of an attack and I’ve listed some of the more successful ways below;

Relax –

Although it almost seems impossible to relax during an attack, it’s crucial that you dont’t submit yourself to your emotion. Breathe slowly and deeply. Deep breathing helps calm you down and relaxes your mind and body. During an anxiety attack, consciously focus your breathing, it’ll help to slow down your heartbeat. It’ll  also distract your attention from the attack, which helps you recover faster. It may help to practice deep breathing exercises even if you are not stressed, or feeling anxious.


Think positively –

Again, during a anxiety attack, it’s important to stay focussed and calm yourself; you have to be in control. Remind yourself, speaking out-load if it helps, that thousands, or possibly millions of people do this thing your scared of, and never come to any harm.

Bear in mind that the more you think negatively, the longer the attack will last. The trigger only starts the attack, it’s your fear of the symptoms that help it build in strength. By positively taking control over your fear and reminding yourself that no one ever died from a panic attack, you’ll overcome it

Remember that it’ll be over soon – and it will. Anxiety attacks don’t generally last very long, so there’s no reason to feel like your world is over.


Talk to someone you trust –

It can be your friend, your wife (husband), a relative, or a therapist. Often, having someone who listens and understands what you’re going through makes a lot of difference. This is because it allows you to share your emotions rather than keeping it to yourself.

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1 Comment

  1. Social interaction is a must for people, in order to survive. You will die slowly without any social interaction. It is also a big help when it comes to dealing with anxiety. Try talking to someone, and maybe, that person can help talk you through your anxiety by helping you sort things out.

    Planning ahead is a great way to reduce stress on a daily basis. Instead of waiting until the last minute for projects at work or school, start in advance to eliminate any hassle when you face crunch time. This will help to put you in the best position to maintain a positive mindset.

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