panic attack

What is a Panic Attack? Symptoms and Treatment Explained

A panic attack is a condition in which an intense fear triggers severe reactions physically when there’s no actual cause for that fear. At that very time, you feel like you’re losing control over everything you do or you might even feel like it’s a heart attack.

Panic attacks are usually short-lived, that is it exists for only about 10 to 15 minutes, although sometimes it may exceed further too.

Panic Attack Symptoms

The symptoms are,

  • Rapid heart rate
  • Breath shortness
  • Dizziness
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Stomach upset
  • Experiencing sudden chills
  • An unusual sense of terror
  • Sweaty
  • Loss of control over yourself
  • Chest throbbing

Panic Attack Causes

Well, there are no particular causes for the attacks, the causes are unknown however there can few factors that may play a role like,

  • Genetics
  • Stress
  • Stress sensitive temperament
  • Prone to negative emotions

Or as I have already given you a hint about “Adrenaline rush”, sometimes a system in our body called “Fight or Flight” gets triggered when there is no actual danger.

These are considered to be a few of the approximate causes of the Panic attack so far. Scientists have been working on it and we might get to know the actual causes very soon.

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Panic Attack Cycle:

panic attack cycle

Given above is a standard “Panic Attack Cycle”, but it can be briefed into 4 stages, they are,

  • Bodily sensations
    Unusual bodily sensations( e.g. Heart poundings) make you react with fear that something bad is about to happen.
  • Panic attacks
    Your continued overreactions to the bodily sensations trigger more fear and eventually leads to a full panic attack.
  • High anxiety
    Once the panic attack subsides, you feel anxious and feel like you are stuck up in a very sensitized state for a short period.
  • Fear of fear
    Your fear of having another panic attack triggers your anxiety levels to increase rapidly and this leads to further abnormal physical sensations. The panic loop is now established.

Panic Attack Treatment

Keep in mind the 3 A’s when you experience a panic attack next time: Acknowledge, Accept, and Alternative Response.

This will assist you to modify the way you respond to the symptoms, aid you get through panic attacks with a smaller amount of fear, and eventually, help you conquer your fear of panic attacks:

  1. Acknowledge: Simply pause and take a breath, the next time you experience a panic attack. Take this moment to recognize that you are experiencing sensitive panic and nervousness. This easy step of understanding your symptoms at the initial stage of a panic attack can give you an idea of influence over your various fears.
  2. Accept: Rather than attempting to stow away from or oppose your manifestations, acknowledge the way that you are having a fit of anxiety. Acknowledgment doesn’t imply that you’re yielding to freeze, however, it can offer you the clearness needed to get past fits of anxiety.
  3. Alternative response: If during an attack you start to react with fear or a need to flee, remind yourself that these are simply symptoms of a panic attack and they will soon subside. When terrifying thoughts such as“I’m losing my mind” arise, try to modify this acuity by repeating to yourself, “This too shall pass.”

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If this disorder is left untreated, it will interfere with your routine and can act as a severe cause of various other disorders associated with it in the long run.

Complications of a panic attack include:

  • Development of specific phobias
  • Frequent medical care for the health
  • Avoidance of social situations
  • troubles at work or school
  • Depression
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Psychiatric disorders
  • Increased suicidal risks.
  • Alcohol or other substance misuses
  • Financial problems


Ques. How to stop panic attacks forever?
Ans. Well, to be honest, it cannot be permanently cured! However, you can control it effectively using the 3 A’s strategy provided earlier. It can be efficient enough to tackle it on a short-term basis.

Ques. How to cure panic attacks fast?
Ans. Just “BREATHE IN, BREATHE OUT AND LET GO OF IT”, is a simple and rapid way to overcome a panic attack as soon as possible. Just focus on a single thing and breathe it out.

Ques. If suffering from a Panic attack, what to do?
Ans. Book an appointment with a Doctor! The best person who can help us with serious discomforts is neither me nor google, but a person with an MBBS degree. Just kidding, but it’s the truth only a fine consultation with a Doctor will help us to overcome any sort of illness, so are panic attacks.

Ques. How to stop a panic attack in public?
You can prevent the attacks by following the steps given below:

  • Keep a “calm down kit” of yours with you always.
  • Move away from the suffocating place and comfort yourself.
  • Seek help if needed.
  • Soothe yourself slowly.
  • Stay still and take deep breaths at regular intervals.

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