Symptoms of Panic Attacks
Panic attacks can occur out of the blue and have a variety of physical sensations. The symptoms are:
- Pounding heart
- Dyspnea(shortness of breath)
- Intense pain in the chest
- Hot or cold flashes
- Fear of dying
- Fear of losing control or going crazy
These common symptoms occur out of the blue and escalate into a full blown panic attack in moments. The other things a person might feel are the sensation of a heart attack. People often complain of a crippling fear of death or the fear of something bad happening to them. A tightness in throat and difficulty in swallowing is also not unheard of.
A person might suffer from an acute fear of closed spaces or the place where the attack began and this can initiate irrational fear of recurring attacks. The “fight-or-flight” response is initiated once it sets in causing a person to rush away from the site of the attack. Although completely normal, it causes severe distress in the person suffering from panic attack. Crippling anxiety and agoraphobia may develop in case of a repeated occurrence of panic attacks.
Signs of Panic Attacks
A recent study by Alicia E. Meuret showed that panic attacks do have signs and may not be occurring out of the blue.A 24-hour monitoring study of patients suffering from panic attacks was conducted to check for any sign of the onset of a panic attack that might be subconsciously affecting the sufferers. It was found that physical signs of an attack manifested even before the attack occurred and they were completely unaware of these signs.
Audible and rapid breathing(chronic hyperventilation) set in even before the attacks started. The patients also experienced bouts of hot and cold flashes along with sweating and trembling. These subtle physical manifestations that the sufferers were unaware of are a significant finding that can help in better understanding the causes of panic attacks which are a still a subject of speculation and remains inconclusive.
Patients may also find difficulty focusing on topics at hand, relaxing and constantly feel threatened by danger. Tension and absentmindedness coupled with irritability also are a major part of signs of panic attacks.