Unlike what most people tend to believe, sweating profusely and hyperventilation are not the only symptoms to identify the onset of a panic attack. We all undergo situations that trigger disturbing amounts of anxiety and stress within our body.
Be it college students, professionals suffering with tough work submission deadlines, or even individuals dealing with a financial crisis or tragic family emergence, it is common for us all to experience stress. While some tend to counter stress by chewing off their fingernails, others fail to manage the stress and end up experiencing full blow panic attacks.
In order to avoid these panic attacks, it is essential to learn how to effectively manage the anxiety and stress that occurs during tragic or toxic situations, and allow it flow out of one’s mind and body without causing too much disturbance. However, in certain severely toxic and damaging situations, a certain stressor can trigger a severe and sudden sensation of anxiety that can disable the mind and body. This feeling is a panic attack, and those who have experienced it can tell you that it is utterly scary and extremely distressing.
When an individual is suffering from a panic attack, the body undergoes the activation of a severe fight-or-flight response, which basically activates the sympathetic nervous system, and triggers it to release a generous amount of adrenaline into the bloodstream. This leads to heightened feelings of fear, perspiration, shortness of breath and shakiness amongst other symptoms.
A panic attack is usually termed as it one when it comes with a wave-like quality. Basically, it is a very fast and overpowering surge of stress and anxiety, accompanied with severe psychological and physical manifestations that engulf the body, wash over your mind, and eliminate within a couple minutes-much like a wave that attacks the shore.
Panic attacks can be caused by a great many reasons, for instance highly stressful one-time events that trigger fear or nervousness, such as public speaking. Those who tend to have extremely stressful lifestyles, or tend be extremely stressed about their health are also likely to experience panic attacks. Moreover, worrying about experiencing a panic attack can also lead to the onset of a panic attack.
Identifying the Symptoms of a Panic Attack
The symptoms of a panic attack tend to vary, depending heavily on the patient itself. As shown in TV shows or movies, not all panic attacks tend to be the same, which is why it is difficult to say that all patients are likely to experience the symptoms we will list down below.
However, in most cases, it is common to note symptoms like the sudden trigger of fear, anxiety and stress, and the panic attack that results is usually accompanied by at least four or more symptoms that we have discussed below in detail.
Here, take a look at the symptoms of a panic attack:
1. Accelerated Heart Rate
It is common to experience racing or pounding heart rates while suffering a panic attack, and this symptom mainly occurs as a result of the body’s fight or flight response. Once the sympathetic nervous system is stimulated, the heart rate and frequency of the heartbeat tends to increase in order to provide the muscles with more and more oxygen so the individual can fight off the perceived danger or escape from the situation.