Most people are not sure if they have ever had a panic attack until they hear exactly what they are. Many people have experienced heightened levels of anxiety at various times in their life, but panic attacks bring it to the highest level and are very alarming. Panic attacks are typically triggered by intense worry or anxiety, but end up triggering a severe physical reaction. Most describe a feeling of losing control or wonder if they are having a heart attack.
Panic Attack Symptoms
Symptoms of a panic attack often feel like they hit suddenly, without warning, and seemingly out of nowhere. A panic attack may last for five minutes or as long as a half-hour, but become very intense within minutes. Symptoms can include a racing heart, chest pains, sweats, shakes, chills, nausea, lightheadedness, shortness of breath, a sense of doom or dying, hot flashes, or headaches. Given the intensity of them, many people begin to develop a fear or anxiety about experiencing another one, which can create a snowball effect or even cause people to avoid going out for fear of having one in public situations.
Left untreated panic attacks can worsen and increase in frequency. Many people are at risk to develop more persistent anxiety problems, develop phobias (driving or going out in public), are at risk to self-medicate with substance abuse, or sink into depression resulting from feeling helpless and hopeless. Don’t let one problem evolve into even more problems. Panic attacks can be effectively treated with medication, therapy, or both.
If you want to talk with one of our psychiatrists or psychologists learn more about panic attacks, please call us now at 763-416-4167 or click here to contact us. We look forward to speaking with you soon.