A panic attack is a burst of intense, overwhelming anxiety that generally lasts for a brief period – sometimes for as little as a few minutes and rarely for more than several hours. The attacks seem to come out of the blue for no apparent reason. During a panic attack you will notice at least four uncomfortable sensations like dizziness, a pounding of your heart , a lump in your throat, racing thoughts , lightheadeness, trembling or shaking, tightness in your chest, palpitations, diarrhea or upset stomich , rapid breathing a choking or smothering sensation, shortness of breath, numbness, or tingling fingers, hot flashes, chills or sweating. You mat feel strange and think that you are unreal or the world may seem unreal.
The symptoms develop suddenly and increase dramatically in intensity within ten minutes. At the height of panic attack , you may be terrified by one or more of these fears.
What if I lose control?
What if I go crazy?
What if I have a heart attack?
What if I faint?
What if I die?
After a short time the episode wears off. You were hanging on for dear life and you think it is a miracle that you didn’t crack up entirely. You don’t want anyone to know what happened to you because you feel ashamed, abnormal,and weird. You live in dread of another attack. Your life becomes a constant vigil as you look for some sign that this terrible experience is about to hit again. This leads to the fear of fear itself.
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