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How does a panic attack feel like?

Updated: Feb 23

Panic attacks are sudden, intense episodes of fear and discomfort that can be overwhelming.

Panic attacks can happen regularly and at any time, often for no apparent reason. While panic attacks are not life-threatening, they can feel overwhelming and debilitating.

Rapid Heartbeat (Palpitations): A hallmark of panic attacks is a sudden increase in heart rate, often described as racing or pounding.

Shortness of Breath: During panic attacks, breathing can become rapid and shallow, making individuals feel like they can't get enough air.

Chest Pain or Discomfort: Chest pain, ranging from mild to severe, is common and often linked to heightened anxiety.

Sweating: Profuse sweating can occur even in a cool environment during a panic attack, often accompanied by sensations of heat or chills.

Trembling or Shaking: Uncontrollable shaking, particularly in the hands and legs, is a frequent symptom.

Dizziness or Lightheadedness: Feeling dizzy contributes to the sense of impending doom during panic attacks.

Nausea or Upset Stomach: Some individuals experience nausea or gastrointestinal discomfort.

Choking Sensation: It's not uncommon to feel as though you're choking or having difficulty swallowing.

Feeling Detached or Unreal: Many report a sense of detachment from reality or feeling like they're in a dream during panic attacks.

Tingling or Numbness: Some experience tingling sensations or numbness, often in their extremities.

Fear of Losing Control: Panic attacks often involve an intense fear of losing control, going insane, or even dying.

Hot Flashes or Chills: Body temperature fluctuations, like hot flashes or chills, can occur.

Chest Tightness: A feeling of tightness or discomfort in the chest area is frequently reported.

Overwhelming Fear: The primary feature of a panic attack is an overwhelming sense of fear or impending doom.

How does a panic attack feel like?
Symptoms of Panic attack

Panic Attack, Stress, Anxiety Support Clinic

Online/In-person Clinic (Rickmansworth & Essex)

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