Understanding what a panic attack feels like when you've never experienced one can be a difficult task. The words “panic attack” are often watered down in everyday jargon. “I’m having a panic attack!” is code for “I’m freaking out about this test” or “I’m really stressed about a problem I don’t know how to solve.” Exaggerated panic attacks also make great comedy, it seems, as lovable but slightly anxious characters breathe into paper bags while giving the appearance of a complete loss of control over something fairly insignificant.
In reality, however, panic attacks are anything but funny. Anyone who has endured a panic attack knows that the symptoms are sudden, frightening, and difficult to manage. They can be so severe, that oftentimes, they are mistaken for heart attacks.
One of the most difficult parts of panic attacks is that they typically occur without warning. They can swoop in from out of nowhere, with no oncoming symptoms.
- Chest pain
- A feeling of choking
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling like your limbs are going numb or tingling
- Fear of dying
- Fear of losing control
- Intrusive, highly anxious thoughts
Some Common Coping Strategies:
- Deep breathing
- Coping statements
For more information on therapeutic options and other ways to help manage and reduce panic and anxiety, contact us now.