Updated 22 January 2021

What is a Panic Attack?

24-7MedCare Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
A Panic Attack is a period of sudden extreme anxiety or fear together with physical sensations. They can occur unexpectedly and usually happen without any warning or external threat. In most cases, Panic Attacks last from minutes to about half an hour but can last for hours in rare cases. It is estimated that 35% of the population experience a panic attack at some point during their life. For many, panic attacks only occur during periods of stress or illness. If someone experiences panic attacks on a recurring basis, they are said to have panic disorder. This may also lead to fear of repeated attacks.

Symptoms of a Panic Attack?

Some of the common symptoms of a Panic Attack include;
    • Nausea or vomiting,
    • Shortness of breath
    • Palpitations
    • Sweating or hot flushes
    • A strong feeling of fear or danger
    • A tightening feeling in the chest or chest pain
    • Tense muscles
    • Difficulty concentrating
    • Numbness or tingling
    • Stomach aches, cramps,
    • A choking feeling,
    • Hyperventilation,
    • A feeling like you are losing your mind and complete control of yourself, 
The symptoms listed above may also be symptoms of physical conditions. Always seek medical advice for yourself or another if a panic attack is suspected. In an emergency dial 000. Some medications and drugs can cause a person to feel panic-like symptoms. Additionally, panic-like symptoms may also be experienced while suffering from other conditions including diabetes, asthma, or inner ear infections.

Treatment of Panic Attacks

If the panic attacks are due to anxiety, treatment options can include:
  • Medication
  • Psychotherapy
  • Biofeedback therapy
Or by implementing techniques to manage stress, breathing, relaxation or adjusting your lifestyle. If physical symptoms are caused by physical illnesses, such as asthma or hyperthyroidism then symptoms should be relieved by treating the physical illness.
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