What does a panic attack feel like? While it is not easy to explain exactly how they feel, anyone who has had a panic attack definitely knows what to expect. This terrifying experience can occur as a part of panic disorder and can make day-to-day life challenging. Through the right mental health treatment, individuals can learn ways to cope and alleviate their disorder.
What Is a Panic Attack?
Before delving into the answer to, “What does a panic attack feel like?”, it is important to understand what a panic attack is. When someone has a panic disorder, it is because they experience reoccurring panic attacks. These attacks are typically unexpected, but some people have certain triggers that can cause them.
With a panic attack, the individual feels shortness of breath and chest pain. They may have a sudden, intense fear of dying. The individual may also have chest pain, shaking, sweating and feelings of choking. Often, these symptoms will occur out of the blue without any cause at all.
Normally, a panic attack will peak within just a few minutes. Physically, the individual may have a rapid heart rate or hot flashes. While symptoms vary from person to person, some of the most common symptoms are chills, a headache, tingling, dizziness, numbness or nausea.
What Does a Panic Attack Feel Like?
Anyone who has had a panic attack does not have to wonder, “What does a panic attack feel like?” During an attack, it actually feels like you are dying. You feel unable to breathe, and you may feel like your throat is closing. It may take all of your energy to calm your mind as you focus on carefully taking each breath.
Many people say that a panic attack feels like a heart attack. In fact, many clients go to the emergency room because they think that they are having a heart attack. Symptoms like a racing heart, chest pain, shortness of breath and sweating are also signs of a heart attack.
You may not be able to tell the difference between a heart attack and a panic attack, but there are a few signs that you can look for to find out for sure. In general, a panic attack will happen all of a sudden and will peak within 10 minutes. Your doctor will look for at least four of the common symptoms of a panic attack before diagnosing you with this problem.
Getting Treatment for Panic Attacks
In a panic disorder treatment center, individuals can find new ways to treat their panic attacks. Deep-breathing exercises, muscle relaxation and other techniques can help alleviate some of the symptoms. Some people also benefit from using things like an ice cube in their hand to distract from the symptoms. In other cases, in-depth treatments like cognitive behavioral therapy or trauma therapy work better.
At a treatment center, people can find help through options such as:
- Gender-specific programming
- Wilderness therapy
If you want to know the answer to, “What does a panic attack feel like?”, you most likely need help with panic attacks. Treat your panic attacks today by calling Red Oak Recovery at 866.457.7590.