Panic attacks are a type of fear response. They are an extreme response to danger, stress or excitement. They can happen without warning, and can often occur for what seems to be no apparent reason during the day or night. Some people have one panic attack then don’t ever experience another, or you might find that you have them regularly, developing into a panic disorder.
You might notice that particular places, situations or activities seem to trigger panic attacks. For example, they might happen before a stressful appointment. Most panic attacks come on suddenly and last between 5–20 minutes. Effects can continue due to worries about when the next attack will occur.
Symptoms include a pounding or racing heartbeat: feeling faint, dizzy or light-headed: feeling very hot or very cold: sweating, and trembling: nausea; chest or abdomen pain: difficulty breathing: shaky legs shaky: feeling disconnected from your mind, body or surroundings.
During a panic attack you might feel very afraid that you’re losing control; going to faint; having a heart attack or going to die. CBT and Mindfulness can help by enabling you to understand the problem and teaches techniques to help you manage the symptoms.