What Do Panic Attacks Feel Like?

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What Do Panic Attacks Feel Like?

Panic attacks can be a terrifying and overwhelming experience that can leave you feeling helpless and confused. If you’ve ever had a panic attack or know someone who has, you understand just how distressing and disruptive they can be. Below, we will explore what panic attacks feel like, delve into their physical and emotional symptoms, and discuss the importance of seeking support to manage and overcome them.

How To Know You’re Having A Panic Attack

The Intense Physical Sensations

During a panic attack, individuals often experience a rapid onset of intense physical sensations that can mimic a life-threatening condition like a heart attack. Common physical symptoms include a racing or pounding heart, shortness of breath, chest tightness or pain, dizziness, trembling or shaking, sweating, and a sensation of choking. Some individuals may also feel nauseous or experience stomach discomfort.

Emotional & Cognitive Symptoms

In addition to the physical symptoms, panic attacks also manifest in emotional and cognitive ways. Most individuals report experiencing an overwhelming sense of fear, terror, or impending doom. They may have an intense urge to escape or find a safe place. Cognitive symptoms often include a sense of unreality or detachment from oneself, fear of losing control or going crazy, or a feeling of being trapped or unable to escape.

Distorted Perceptions & Sensations

Panic attacks can distort perceptions and sensations, leading to further distress. Some individuals may experience tunnel vision or a heightened sense of awareness, focusing intensely on their physical symptoms. They may perceive their surroundings as unfamiliar or distorted, and their senses may become hyperactive or hypersensitive. This can create a sense of disorientation and exacerbate feelings of fear and panic.

The Aftermath Of A Panic Attack

Panic attacks typically reach their peak intensity within minutes and can last anywhere from a few minutes to around half an hour. After the peak, symptoms gradually subside, leaving individuals feeling exhausted, emotionally drained, and physically weak. It is common to experience a lingering sense of anxiety or unease following a panic attack, fearing a recurrence or anticipating future attacks.

Seeking Support & Professional Help

Experiencing panic attacks can be distressing, but it’s important to remember that help is available. If you or someone you know is struggling with panic attacks, reaching out for professional help and support is crucial.

A mental health professional can provide a conclusive diagnosis and help develop a personalized treatment plan to effectively manage your symptoms and address the underlying cause of your panic attacks. Treatment options for panic attacks often include a combination of psychotherapy, antidepressant and anti-anxiety medications, lifestyle modifications, and self-care.

Final Thoughts

Living with panic attacks can significantly impact your quality of life, but it doesn’t have to take over your life. Seeking support from professionals who specialize in anxiety treatment can help you regain control and find relief.

But if traditional treatments don’t seem to work, you can reach out to the compassionate team at Aurora Mental Health & Wellness for tailored ketamine treatments. Ketamine therapy is known to provide rapid relief from treatment-resistant anxiety and depression and is one of the go-to alternative treatments for chronic panic attacks.

If you or someone you know is struggling with panic attacks, Waite Park, St. Cloud, don’t hesitate to contact Aurora Mental Health & Wellness for a free consultation so you can start the journey toward recovery.

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