Panic Disorder – Symptoms

It is believed that it is a stepping stone to an anxiety disorder because after such an attack, a person might avoid those circumstances that it happened in the first place, having the first time the feeling of impending doom and sudden death, and will develop a phobia towards that specific situation, not being able to cope with it thus developing at the very same time an anxiety disorder that could escalate. Because a panic attack can appear without any warning, there are no pre-symptoms that can be described but there are some important symptoms that you must know in order to determine if you are having a panic attack or not:


  • chest pains,
  • pounding or racing heart
  • nausea, lightheadedness, dizziness,
  • stomach pains,
  • numbness in hands or a tingling sensation in them
  • having difficulty in breathing, a sense of feeling smothered,
  • chills or hot flashes
  • perceptual distortions or dreamlike sensations
  • trembling and shaking
  • a feeling of impending doom, something horrifying is about to happen and there is no way to prevent it, person feels powerless
  • fear of dying
  • a sudden feeling of wanting to escape
  • being nervous, possibly losing control and acting embarrassingly

There is no pre-set time on how long a panic attack will last, it can vary from any other person, but averagely it can last up to ten –fifteen minutes and will be one of the most horrifying situations and experiences that a person may feel, its symptoms being closely related to the ones that a person might have when having a heart attack.

Sadly, a person that will have a panic attack will have more in the future, if they cannot stand up and try to face that specific fear, as earlier stated developing it into a state of prolonged anxiety, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), withdrawal or intoxication from certain drugs or schizophrenia.

Having repeated attacks will lead up to diagnosing that person on having a panic disorder, in time these types of disorders causing a lot of emotional and in some case even physical damage. Due to the gravity of nature of this illness it is highly recommended that after one’s first panic attack, that fear somehow will be faced after that event and if not possible on your own that you must seek help in the hope this will not escalate and turn into a phobia.

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