Panic is the word used to describe high levels of anxiety. When people experience panic, many uncomfortable physical symptoms occur in their body. These can include: a rapid heart rate, sweating, a tight and painful chest, breathlessness and dizziness. As these physical feelings of panic are so intense, they can be very frightening. Because of their severity, people often worry that they are having a heart attack, going mad, or are about to faint.
As soon as people begin having thoughts like these, they become even more anxious and their physical symptoms of panic get worse. As they get worse, people become even more convinced that they are having a heart attack, going mad etc. Before long, a vicious cycle develops which continues in this way until someone experiences a full blown panic attack. A panic attack is basically when these symptoms reach their peak.
Panic Attack Symptoms:
- Increased heart rate
- Trembling / shaking
- Feelings of breathlessness, shortness of breath
- Feelings of choking
- Heart palpitations
- Chest pain
- Feeling dizzy, lightheaded
- Muscles tense up (feel tight)
- Chills / hot flashes
- Numbness or tingling sensations
If you or another person is experiencing a panic attack some things that can help include:
- put ice in the hand because holding something cold is distracting
- do the 5,4,3,2,1 method;
- Say 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell, 1 thing you can taste.