The feel of anxiety attacks are usually instant and can be terrifying, differing in intensity from one person to another. Although it is considered, all in the mind, there are some sharp physical symptoms of anxiety attacks that can’t be gone unnoticed. The symptoms of anxiety attack can be distressing and due to lack of awareness and acceptance among people, it becomes difficult to overcome. This is one of the reasons, why many deal with anxiety but end up mistaken for some other underlying condition. An inadequate approach and poor mental care can terrify the condition, turning into a repeated trigger.
What is an anxiety attack?
An anxiety attack involves intense feelings of fear, panic, and apprehension. The emotional aspect is equally intense. People might feel a sense of terror, dread, or detachment from reality. It’s as if their own mind has turned against them, causing them to feel trapped and powerless. The chest tightens, and a sensation of choking or suffocating can also occur, making it even harder to catch a breath.
A key element of anxiety attacks is the feeling of losing control. This can manifest as a fear of fainting, going crazy, or even dying. The sense of not being able to escape the situation, despite it being a mental experience, can further amplify the distress.
In addition to the physical and emotional symptoms, cognitive symptoms often play a role. Racing thoughts and an inability to concentrate can make the experience feel like a chaotic whirlwind. Moreover, the fear of having more anxiety attacks in the future can lead to a vicious cycle of worry and avoidance behaviours.
Mechanism of anxiety
We, humans, are constantly surrounded by stress. Such a stressful situation gives rise to anxiety. Anxiety can occur from stressful situations that have occurred in the past or have been occurring in the present. Anxiety usually exists in all of us and it tends to send us alerts or messages if there’s some sense of danger. It generally prepares our mind and body to combat such situations and that’s how anxiety subsides in an individual. Some experience severe anxiety which keeps on coming back while affecting their daily lives.
Signs of an anxiety attack
- Breathing issues
There are sudden changes in the breathing pattern while dealing with anti-anxiety attacks. One can also experience shortness of breath or difficulty breathing throughout the anxiety attack episode.
Palpitations lead to ultimate physical discomfort where your heart might feel like it’s pounding rapidly. Some may even mistake this of experiencing it as a heart attack, especially in the case of palpitations popping up with chest pain.
- Shaking and shivering
Some experience their body going on high alert mode, where there’s a sudden rush of adrenaline.
The anxiety attack can result in dizziness while some may even feel lightheaded.
The person with an anxiety attack may also suffer from intense and pressurized pain around the head and eyes.
These signs of anxiety attack tend to last for a few seconds which can be further extended for 20 minutes or even last longer. Recovery from an anxiety attack might take time as the body and mind gradually return to a calmer state. Techniques like deep breathing, grounding exercises, and mindfulness can help manage the symptoms. However, it’s important to differentiate between anxiety attacks and panic disorders. If anxiety attacks become frequent and disruptive, seeking medical assistance is highly recommended.