Anxiety attacks or panic attacks are one of the symptoms of anxiety disorder. They might occur with varying intensity or frequency, but if you are experiencing them frequently it’s a sign that you need to see a doctor or a psychiatrist.
What it’s not
The goose bumps you get before an exam, the butterflies in your stomach before a big presentation, they’re not a sign that you’re either suffering from an anxiety attack or anxiety disorder. They’re not so pleasant, for sure, but there’s an immediate cause and usually when it’s done, you’ll find yourself back to normal – whether it’s half-way through the presentation or after the first five questions of your exam.
What it is
When you get a sudden experience of overwhelming fear or panic, without an apparent reason, then you’re experiencing an anxiety attack. You’re very frightened, asking yourself if you’re going crazy, finding it difficult to breathe, feeling an urgent need to escape, unsure of what’s real and what’s not.
Physically you might experience heart palpitations, a pain in your chest, shortness of breath, having hot and cold flashes and so on.
There are many symptoms inside an anxiety attack, often coming all at once or one after the other. They could last a few minutes or a few hours.
If you have suffered quite frequently from anxiety attacks, it’s best to seek out counselling. At the moment when they happen, deep breathing, taking a walk in a quiet place, talking to a friend or describing your symptoms either verbally or in writing can help to ease off the immediate pressure.
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