By Aya Anan
According to the DSM a panic attack is an abrupt surge of intense fear or discomfort that reaches its peak within minutes, and during which time a variety of psychological and physical symptoms occur. These symptoms include rapid heart rate, sweating, shaking, shortness of breath, hot flashes, and lightheadedness—as well as a sense of impending doom, chills, nausea, abdominal pain, chest pain, headache, and numbness or tingling.
What does a Panic Attack feel like
Panic attacks cause various distressing symptoms that can be terrifying for the individual experiencing the attack.
Some people may mistake panic attacks for heart attacks and some may believe that they are dying. While others feel a mixture of self-doubt or impending doom.
Some can also find the episodes extremely embarrassing and refrain from telling their friends, family, or a mental health professional.
Anxiety vs. Panic Attacks: What’s the difference
Anxiety is basically what happens when we are expecting a negative or undesirable outcome (worrying about what might happen). Anxiety normally develops gradually (it doesn’t suddenly appear), and it can be often associated with muscle tension and a general feeling of uneasiness.
While a panic attack is associated with a very sudden onset of acute fear as a reaction to a sense of threat that is occuring right now, this is known as the fight-or-flight response humans are ingrained with, this response sets of their alarm bells so that they are ready and able to handle and respond to immediate danger.
How long do Panic Attacks Last
Although duration varies between individuals, typically, panic attacks reach their peak within 10 minutes or less and then symptoms begin to subside. Panic attacks rarely last for more than an hour, with most lasting for around 20 to 30 minutes.
How to Tell if It’s a Panic Attack Here are 10 symptoms of panic attacks to look for:
6- Repeating a mantra can help a person to come out of a panic attack. The mantra can take the form of reassurance and may be as simple as, “This too shall pass.” Or, it may have a more spiritual meaning. As a person focuses on gently repeating a mantra, their physical responses can slow, allowing them to regulate their breathing and relax muscles.
7- If panic attacks frequently occur in the same environment, such as a workplace, it may be helpful to tell someone and let them know what kind of support to offer. If an attack happens in public, telling even one person can help. They may be able to locate a quiet spot and prevent others from crowding in.
8- If the attacks persist or are escalating, consider reaching out to a certified professional.
Remember, no storm lasts forever..
Hold on, Be brave, and have faith!
This one will pass too, just as every other storm has.