What is a panic attack?
A panic attack is a severe attack of anxiety and fear which occurs suddenly, often without warning, and for no apparent reason. Various other symptoms then occur during a panic attack. These include one or more of the following:
- Palpitations or a thumping heart.
- Sweating and trembling.
- Hot flushes or chills.
- Feeling short of breath, sometimes with choking sensations.
- Chest pains.
- Feeling sick.
- Feeling dizzy, or faint.
- Fear of dying or going crazy.
- Numbness, or pins and needles.
- Feelings of unreality, or being detached from yourself.
The physical symptoms that occur with panic attacks do not mean there is a physical problem with the heart, chest, etc. The symptoms mainly occur because of an ‘overdrive’ of nervous impulses from the brain to various parts of the body during a panic attack.
During a panic att