Panic Attacks

Panic Attacks

What is a Panic Attack

A panic attack is a sudden feeling of intense and overwhelming fear, and are often accompanied by severe physical symptoms such as shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat, or nausea.

When experiencing a panic attack, you may feel like you’re having a heart attack, losing control, or even dying.


Common symptoms of a panic attack include:

  • Overwhelming sense of fear, doom, or danger
  • Fear that you’re dying or losing control
  • Sense of detachment from world or oneself
  • Rapid, pounding heartbeat
  • Sweating
  • Shaking or trembling
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Tightness in throat
  • Chills
  • Hot flashes
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Stomach pains or cramps
  • Headache
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness


The exact cause of unexpected panic attacks is unknown. Those with anxiety disorders may experience panic attacks from specific triggers related to their anxiety.

Suggested factors that may play a role in panic attacks include:

  • Genetics or family history
  • Major stress, like a stressful job or traumatic life event
  • Changes in brain function


When it comes to panic attacks, professional help is the best medicine. Common treatment methods may include therapy, medication, or a combination of the two. A doctor is the best place to start, as they can recommend the most effective place to start.

When to See a Medical Doctor

If you’ve experienced a panic attacks, specifically if they’re frequent or happen more than once, speak to someone. A doctor can properly assess the situation, and recommend the best treatment options for your situation, as well as other medical professionals that can aid you in this journey.

It may take a few tries before finding the treatment option that works best for you. Speaking to a doctor and developing a relationship will make treatment for panic attacks more effective, since they’re able to see the changes within you over time.