What Are Panic Attack Symptoms?
Many people are very well aware of what they believe are panic attack symptoms. Especially if you experience panic attacks yourself.
There are indeed some classic panic attack symptoms which you will recognise. But you may also be surprised about some of the hidden or less well known symptoms.
Also some people may express all of their panic attack symptoms ‘externally’. You will be able to see and hear them experiencing their fear. But other people (probably in the minority) will keep all of the symptoms inside and hidden.
The second form is the way that I used to experience my panic attacks. In fact, I was really surprised when I was diagnosed with panic attacks as I had an idea of someone experiencing panic as hyperventilating and getting very upset. I was the complete opposite – I held everything inside myself and fought very hard not to let anyone see how much distress that I was in.
So please remember you may be experiencing just one or all of these symptoms. People around you may notice that you are distressed or you may keep everything held tightly inside. You may also have some additional symptoms which are not on this list.
None of this matters because you are an individual. If the way that you are feeling is having an effect on your happiness, or on the way that you live your life, then it is okay to seek help.
Common Panic Attack Symptoms:
A panic attack is the normal ‘fight or flight’ response which has been hijacked in some way. You are experiencing a normal human response to a dangerous situation – but you are not actually in any danger. So when we look at what are panic attack symptoms we are also looking at what happens to your body during this normal fight or flight response.
- Your breathing may be affected – usually it comes from high up in your chest and the breaths become very short.
- Some people describe a tight or heavy feeling in the chest.
- Your throat may constrict.
- Blood pressure increases so you may become flushed, you may feel the higher energy in your body as tics or jolts, and you may feel tingling or other strange sensations in your hands and feet.
- Your digestive system may be affected. For some people this will be an urge to run to the toilet or be sick during the panic attack. For other people the digestive system shutting down may result in disturbed digestive patterns after and between panic attacks.
- You may experience headaches.
- Your eyes may fill with tears and you may cry.
- Your mouth may become very dry – or some people notice an increase in saliva.
- Some people shake uncontrollably during the panic attack or immediately after as their body starts to relax.
As I said earlier, these are common symptoms, things I have experienced myself and things that my clients have reported over the years. There will be more that I have forgotten or simply not come across yet.
When to seek medical help:
If you are worried about any of your symptoms at any time then please contact your GP for a physical examination. They can rule out any other issues. Often getting this all clear from your GP allows you to begin to relax and to tackle the panic attacks in a more positive way.
If you would like help with taking back control and mastering your panic attack symptoms then contact me to book a free initial conversation.