Symptoms of panic attacks include a sense of extreme fear and panic that occurs without warning, which leads to a sense of anxiety and tension, which in turn stimulates the appearance of physical symptoms that may seem dangerous, so the person thinks that he is having a heart attack or that he is about to die, but in reality panic attacks do not pose a danger On a person’s life itself. [1]

Panic attacks can occur at any time during the day or at bedtime, and some people can have one or two panic attacks in their life, but others may have repeated panic attacks in what is known as panic disorder. [2]

Learn in this article what are the physical and psychological symptoms of panic attacks, how long these symptoms last, and how to differentiate them from a heart attack or anxiety attacks.

Symptoms of panic attacks

Symptoms usually occur suddenly, and are not necessarily caused by a trigger, in which a person suffers from 4 or more of the following symptoms: [3]

Symptoms of psychological panic attacks

Symptoms of panic attacks include: [3]

  • Feeling detached from reality: where the patient loses feeling for those around him, feels alienated and difficult to distinguish others, as well as feels detached from himself.
  • Panic and fear of losing control: A person feels intense fear of losing control of things or going crazy.
  • Fear of death: Symptoms of panic attacks include fear of death, as it leads to a feeling of terror and the individual may feel that he is having a heart attack or that he will lose his life.

Symptoms of physical panic attacks

Symptoms of sudden panic attacks are not limited to psychological signs and symptoms, but may cause physical symptoms as well. [3]

Symptoms of panic attacks on the body include: [3]

  • Heart palpitations or: Abnormally increasing and irregular heartbeat is a symptom of panic attacks and fear, and it is worth noting that the feeling of a rapid heartbeat may exacerbate the panic attack.
  • Hyperhidrosis: Panic attacks are accompanied by excessive sweating, which is one of their common symptoms. The person feels that his hands and forehead sweat, along with the armpits and back.
  • Trembling and trembling: the person may notice shaking hands and difficulty carrying small objects, such as a phone or a pen, and the tremor may increase to include the entire body; This leads to difficulty standing.
  • Chills: Panic attacks may cause chills or hot flashes, which are a feeling of sudden heat in the upper body.
  • Shortness of breath or suffocation: A feeling of difficulty breathing or suffocation is a symptom of a panic attack, and it may appear in the form of rapid breathing.
  • Panic attacks can cause chest discomfort or pain, which leads to confusion with a heart attack.
  • Dizziness: During a panic attack, a person may experience dizziness and loss of balance, which is a common symptom of panic attacks.
  • Nausea: Panic attacks can cause nausea, and in some rare cases it may lead to vomiting.
  • Numbness or numbness: A tingling sensation or a symptom of panic, a person may feel numbness in certain areas, such as the lips, face, fingers, arms, legs, and feet.

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How long do panic attack symptoms last?

Panic attack begins suddenly, symptoms of panic attacks peak within 10 minutes, usually last 5 to 20 minutes and then disappear, but in some cases a panic attack may last hours. [4] [5]

In some cases, the entire panic attack may last only a few minutes, as the symptoms appear suddenly, peak in a few seconds, and then disappear. [6]

Post panic attack symptoms

Some symptoms can appear after the panic attack ends, especially in cases where the attack lasts for a long time, and these symptoms include: [5] [7]

  • Stress, anxiety or feeling restless.
  • tiredness, drowsiness;
  • Shivering or trembling.

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Symptoms of panic attacks when sleeping

Some people get panic attacks tonight (in English: Nocturnal Panic Attacks), which occur at bedtime before entering the deep sleep stage; Causing panic, panic, waking up from sleep, and perhaps difficulty getting back to sleep again or feeling tired throughout the next day. [8] [9]

The symptoms of panic attacks before going to sleep are similar to the symptoms of attacks that occur during the day, such as a feeling of rapid heartbeat, chest pain, sweating, a sense of extreme fear, loss of control and panic. [9]

What is the difference between panic attacks and a heart attack?

Many people confuse a panic attack, but despite the similarity of symptoms, it is possible to differentiate between them. A heart attack usually occurs after exertion, and the chest pain is sharp or similar to squeezing or crushing, and often extends to the shoulder, jaw, neck, or back, and it is difficult to determine the location of the pain in the body. Chest, in addition, heart attack symptoms may last hours. [10] [11]

While the chest pain that may accompany panic attacks is characterized as a sharp or stabbing pain, or a feeling of suffocation, and a panic attack is accompanied by a rapid heartbeat, trembling, and racing thoughts. Symptoms of panic attacks usually appear suddenly, last 10 minutes, then most symptoms disappear within 30 minutes, but it may take a few hours to disappear completely. [10] [11]

It is worth noting that you should see a doctor when feeling chest pain to find out the exact diagnosis of this pain.

What is the difference between the symptoms of panic attacks and anxiety attacks?

It can be difficult to differentiate between a panic attack and an anxiety attack. Given the similarity of symptoms, but there are some characteristics that help differentiate them: [5]

  • A panic attack is not required to have a stimulus, as it may occur without it, but an anxiety attack is usually caused by exposure to pressure or a threat.
  • Symptoms of panic attacks often appear suddenly, while symptoms of anxiety attacks occur gradually.
  • The symptoms are severe in a panic attack and may be accompanied by a feeling of detachment from reality. On the other hand, the symptoms of anxiety attacks range from mild to severe.
  • The symptoms of a panic attack usually last for a few minutes, while an anxiety attack can last longer.