What is Panic Attack?
A panic attack is an unpredictable, abrupt onset of fear that reaches its peak within a few minutes. Unlike an anxiety attack that occurs in advance due to a certain situation, panic attacks are unexpected. They can be identified when one’s heart is racing, starts sweating, shivering or trembling. It can occur due to a sudden stressor or even due to existing medical conditions. However, they do not require a clear trigger. A panic attack can even occur while one is in a rested state or when one’s asleep. A panic attack can be identified by certain symptoms in a given situation.
Symptoms of a panic attackFeeling of choking
Trembling, shaking, shivering
Hot or cold flashes
Racing of the heartbeat
Chest pain causing discomfort
Breathlessness or hyperventilation
Fear of losing control or going crazy
Feeling detached from one’s surroundings
These symptoms occur suddenly and peak in a few minutes. They can happen anywhere and at any time. Sometimes a panic attack can be so severe that a person feels like they are having a heart attack. They also sometimes can occur due to the existence of another disorder such as depression, social phobia or panic disorder. A panic attack can be a one-time experience or can also occur multiple times. Most people have one to two panic attacks in their lifetime but if panic attacks are recurrent one could be diagnosed with a panic disorder.