The Symptoms of a Panic Attack — High Expectations Counseling

Panic attacks are one of the more common mental health occurrences experienced by people around the world. They have many symptoms ranging from sweating and nausea, to a fear of dying or going ‘crazy’. Panic attacks are unique. They can occur alongside other mental health conditions, as part of a panic disorder, or on their own. It is usual for there to have been some sort of stressful situation in the time period prior to the panic attack happening. This could be months, weeks or days beforehand.

Panic attacks are often associated with high anxiety and stress, although they can also be brought on by certain medical conditions. They are very common in individuals who suffer with post-traumatic stress, but can also occur unexpectedly in otherwise healthy people. They can last anywhere from a few minutes to an hour or longer.

The first time someone experiences a panic attack can be a very scary situation. They feel out of control, highly stressed and can struggle to get back to a feeling of normalcy. Panic attacks can be described as a sudden surge of intense fear or anxiety. They may happen as a response to a situation that causes distress for the sufferer, or out of the blue and without an identifiable trigger.

The Symptoms of a Panic Attack

Some of the common symptoms experienced include sudden sweating or trembling, heart palpitations or a racing heartbeat, a shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, feeling dizzy, numbness, a feeling of disconnect from reality, and fears of dying or ‘going crazy’. Not all of these may happen in one panic attack, but it is likely that many will be present.

Panic attacks may happen once or twice, or on an ongoing basis. They can be highly distressing for the individual concerned, particularly when there is no clear cause. However, they are common and can be treated with relaxation techniques, counselling or medication (if necessary). Sometimes just being aware of what a panic attack is, can help to calm someone down.

Panic attacks are not unusual, but they can be scary if they have never been experienced before. The symptoms are wide ranging and intense, but they are temporary, even though it may not feel like it at the time. There are also many ways to treat panic attacks if they continue. Do not be afraid to approach a health care practitioner about this condition as they can help.

Originally published at on August 13, 2021.




Licensed mental health counsellor and owner of private practice in Orlando, FL. Working with couples, teens, children, individuals, families, groups.

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High Expectations Counseling

High Expectations Counseling

Licensed mental health counsellor and owner of private practice in Orlando, FL. Working with couples, teens, children, individuals, families, groups.

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