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A Panic Attack - Knowing What to Expect From It

Posted Oct 07 2009 4:41pm

Have you ever seen someone have a panic attack or have you had one yourself?  If you have, you know firsthand the fear that accompanies them. If these attacks continue they can have a crippling affect on the person´s life. This is what you should expect from a panic attack:

 It will involve these symptoms

There are two types of symptoms that will affect you when you have a panic attack:  physical sensations and frightening thoughts. You can expect to experience any combination of these symptoms in a panic attack.

•    The physical sensations you should expect from a panic attack are heart palpitations or pounding heart, dizziness, profuse sweating, sensations of shortness of breath or smothering, trembling or shaking, a feeling of choking, chest pain or discomfort, unsteadiness, nausea or abdominal distress, lightheadedness or faintness, chills or hot flashes, feelings of unreality or of being detached from oneself, and numbness or tingling sensations.

•    Frightening thoughts such as fear of losing control or losing your mind, being afraid you´re dying, fear that it is a serious medical problem, or fear that you are having a heart attack or stroke are often part of a panic attack.

 It will scare you to death

The scariest thing you should expect from a panic attack is that it hits all of a sudden and, often, with no apparent reason. You suddenly feel that you are in great danger and all you want to do is run in order to get away from it. You may feel that you are dying or going crazy. Anyone who has experienced a panic attack will tell you that it is a terrifying experience.

 It will last an eternity

No matter how long the panic attack actually lasts, you will feel like it lasts an eternity.  Most attacks reach their height in approximately 10 minutes and are over within 20 minutes. There are, however, instances where panic attacks have lasted up to an hour.

 It will strike again

The scariest thing you should expect from a panic attack is that the majority of the people who experience them will have another one. They will happen when you least expect them to, however with proper therapy and/or the application of various relaxation techniques, a person can learn to control these attacks. The number of attacks a person will experience depends a lot on how they learn to handle their fears.

 It will damage your life if not stopped

A panic attack, or recurring panic attacks, scary as they are, will never harm you - no matter how often they occur. However, if not treated, they may turn into a phobia. Once a phobia takes control of your life you may find yourself afraid of open, crowded, places, and even begin to avoid social gatherings.

By: D. More

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