Have you been having Anxiety Panic Attack symptoms? If so, you may be embarrassed and think that no one else would understand.
Anxiety panic attacks are more common than you may think. And they can interfere with your ability to function, to remember things, and to make decisions.
If you are afraid that you will have a panic attack, you may be avoiding social situations, or even spending all your time at home, refusing to leave the safety of your home.
What is a Panic Attack?
A panic attack is intense anxiety that comes on suddenly. Panic attacks are very frightening, and, during a first panic attack, a person often feels that he is going to die. Panic attacks don’t last that long—they are usually over in 10 minutes.
To be diagnosed with having a panic attack, you need to have at least 4 of these symptoms:
- Palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate
- Trembling or shaking
- Sensations of shortness of breath or smothering
- Feelings of choking
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Nausea or abdominal distress
- Feeling dizzy, unsteady, light-headed, or faint
- Chills or heat sensations
- Numbness or tingling sensations, usually in hands or feet
- Derealization (feelings of unreality) or depersonalization (being detached from oneself)
- Fear of losing control or going crazy
- Fear of dying
As you can see, many of these symptoms could be signs of serious illnesses like heart disease, hyperthyroid, or breathing disorders.
People having a panic attack often say they feel like they are going to die. As a result, people with anxiety panic attack symptoms often end up in an emergency room or doctor’s office, and they are tested for various conditions.
When the tests come back negative, patients are told that “it is all in their heads”.
What Do Anxiety Panic Attack Symptoms Feel Like?
If you are reading this page because a loved one suffers from these symptoms and you are trying to understand or help, it’s hard to appreciate what they go through. Just try to imagine what it feels like to experience one, if you can…
Here’s what it might feel like if you were out and about doing errands–and you had a panic attack…
You are standing in line at the supermarket. It’s been a long wait, but there is only one more customer to go, before you make it to the cashier.
But wait, what was that sensation? You feel an unpleasant feeling forming in your throat, your chest feels tighter, and now, you experience a sudden shortness of breath. Your heart skips a beat. You think to yourself, “Please, God, not here.”
You quickly scan the territory (the area around you)—is it threatening? You see four unfriendly faces in line behind you, one person in front.
Pins and needles seem to prick you through your left arm, you feel slightly dizzy, and then you have an explosion of fear–as you dread the worst. You are about to have a panic attack!
There is no doubt in your mind now that this is going to be a big one.
Deep Breathing Exercises
You think to yourself, “Okay, focus. Remember what you have been taught.” It is time now to apply the coping techniques you have learned.
You begin the deep breathing exercise your doctor recommended. In through the nose, out through the mouth.
You try to think relaxing thoughts, and continue breathing in, (think “Relax,” ) and then breathe out. But it doesn’t seem to be having any positive effect; in fact, just concentrating on your breathing is making you feel more panicky, self-conscious and more uptight.
Everyone in the checkout area must be watching you…
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Still standing in the checkout line at the supermarket, you decide to try progressive relaxation. You tense both shoulders, hold for 10 seconds and then release. You try it again. There is no difference.
In fact, the anxiety is getting worse, and the very fact that you are out of coping techniques (which aren’t working anyway) worsens your panic.
If only you were surrounded by your family, or a close friend were beside you, so you could feel more confident in dealing with this situation.
By this time, your adrenaline is really pumping through your system, your body is tingling with uncomfortable sensations, and now the dreaded feeling of losing complete control engulfs your emotions.
No one around you has any idea of the sheer terror you are experiencing. For them, it’s just a regular day at the supermarket and another frustratingly slow wait in the checkout line. For you, it feels like the end of the world.
Your last and most basic coping skill is just to escape. You will resort to flight. You excuse yourself from the checkout line.
Of course you are a bit embarrassed, as it is now your turn to pay. The cashier is looking bewildered as you leave the items you were intending to purchase, on the counter, and you head quickly toward the door.
This is no time for excuses. You need to be alone. You leave the grocery store and get into your car to ride it out alone. Could this be the big one? Will you die today? Is this the panic attack that will push you over the edge, mentally and physically?
You sit in the car alone, and ten minutes later, the anxiety panic attack subsides. It’s 10:30 a.m. How are you going to make it through the rest of the day?
Help for Panic Attack Disorder
As frightening as panic attacks can be, they are not a serious medical problem. You cannot die from a panic attack, and it is not a disease.
Triggers for panic attacks are different for different people. You might be anxious about going to the dentist’s office, having your blood pressure taken, speaking on the phone or meeting someone new.
However, no matter what makes you anxious, you can find relief. What you resist, persists. So, in the example above, the worst thing to do was run from the situation.
If you simply stayed in line and paid for your merchandise, your panic attack would have been quickly over. You would find that it really wasn’t as bad as you thought, and nobody else seemed to be aware of your discomfort.
It’s all a matter of becoming comfortable with your discomfort, and changing the way that you think about things.
Using anxiety hypnosis is a proven way to help people with panic attack disorder. In fact, hypnosis is very effective at helping people overcome panic attacks and get back to a normal life.
You’ll need to listen to your hypnosis sessions regularly, but it is worth the effort, as you’ll soon start to see results—and you’ll be more relaxed and less anxious.
Do you (or perhaps someone you know) ever experience this kind of scenario? If so, you may have started to panic—just while you were reading my story.
Of course your story might be somewhat different. Or you may recognize that an anxiety panic attack is coming, in a different way. You may have different symptoms.
The place may be different, and your triggers (or what causes you to be anxious) may be different—the dentist’s office, having your blood pressure taken, speaking on the phone or meeting someone new…
Even so, a panic attack is a panic attack!
While you may feel like you are the only person in the world to suffer from anxiety and panic attacks, you have lots of company. In the United States alone, it is estimated that almost 5% of the population suffers from some form of anxiety disorder.
For some, anxiety attacks are so frequent that they keep the affected person from leaving his home. When you have frequent panic attacks, and you are afraid to leave your home, you have agoraphobia.