Is It A Panic Attack?



Photo by astralweeks

"Ok, so the last week or two I've been having weird episodes. My mind will start racing, but it doesn't make any sense. My heart starts racing and I get short of breath. Does anyone know what this could be?" asked apeclark2008 in The CafeMom Newcomers Club.



ProudArmyWife88 replied: "I get those. I also get this burning in my chest that goes up the back of my neck and I can't breathe and I feel like the walls are closing in and then I have to try and make it stop. Mine are panic attacks. Yours could very well be!"

If you've ever experienced shortness of breath, dizziness, and a rapid heart rate out of what seems like nowhere, you may be having a panic attack. I'm no stranger to anxiety, but don't just take my word for it. The Mayo Clinic definition of a panic attack is "a sudden episode of intense fear that develops for no apparent reason and that triggers severe physical reactions. When panic attacks occur, you might think you're losing control, having a heart attack or even dying." They come without warning and can last anywhere from 10 minutes to a few days. The list of symptoms are:


  • Rapid heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Shortness of breath
  • Hyperventilation
  • Chills
  • Hot flashes
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Chest pain
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Faintness
  • Tightness in your throat
  • Trouble swallowing
  • A sense of impending death

The crucial thing to remember is that these can also be symptoms of other serious health conditions, so you should definitely go to your doctor and get checked out. You don't want to dismiss a heart attack for a panic attack. Also, if you're frequently experiencing these attacks you could have an anxiety disorder. In the meantime, how do you get through these episodes? I once had an anxiety attack so bad, I had to get medical treatment to calm me down. Luckily, not everyone will suffer so extremely.


Do you get panic attacks? How do you deal with them?

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