What Does a Panic Attack Feel Like?

What Does a Panic Attack Feel Like?

A panic attack is often described as a blur of chaos, with a rampant flow of anxiety causing dismal thoughts, fleeting but so intense that they incapacitate. Some describe the sensation of the onset of a panic attack akin to a torsion of tension in the abdomen which lets loose a gripping electric sensation, overcoming the face and limbs first. With breathing increasing to an ever more-rapid rate, breaths become deep and shallow, making it hard to focus on any calming thought.

A moment of panic presenting the body with intense pain and a feeling which can leave you thinking that you are dying is the most prevalent notion most have of a panic attack. Amid the chaos of the sudden onset of anxiety is a definite order, process and pattern to the attack itself.

Understanding triggers, mindfully staying aware of your thoughts and the emotions which arise and facing the feelings which overcome you from a balanced frame of mind can help heal the underlying issues which spur this dreadful imbalance.

Putting Everything into Perspective

While most who are new to panic attacks find themselves in a state where it is near-impossible to control their thoughts, let alone sequence them, as one becomes more familiar with the anxiety-laden state, recalling the sensations and their origins becomes easier and easier.

Long-running panic attack sufferers describe the first sensation as a tingling, burning or deep discomfort starting in the pit of their stomach. Many at first attribute this to indigestion or stomach complaints; however, once the mind realizes the truth of the feeling, panic begins to draw similar thoughts, making the sensation worsen.

As the mind whirls more and more apprehensive thoughts connected to the feeling in your belly, one becomes hyper-focused on a self-destructive train of thought. In the next moment of this meltdown, a sharp, agonizing pain is the heart is often felt resulting from the eminent, ever-increase heartrate which most only perceive when this intense pain sharply arises. A warmth crawls over the whole of your body, forming what feels like an awkward second-skin, seemingly encompassing you within a bubble of thoughts and emotions which cannot be processed.

Sweat begins to reel from the body and vision begins to blur. The burning of salt in one’s eyes intensifies and becomes one with the burning sensations riling through the body, in fleeting fits of heat. During these moments, the only thoughts which seem to hold form are ones of worry, depicting the horrid nature of being seen like this in public, or having your incoherency made known to those around you.

Even these grim visions of what may happen are turned even more abhorrent, especially if one allows themselves to be overcome by the point of focus most apparent to their mind. A splitting headache typically interrupts this process, leaving one worrying over whether they are doing OK in any sense of the word.

At this point the compression of your chest and your panic-stricken inability to breath creates an immense amount of tension which can make you feel as if you are completely out of control. Directing the movements of your body may seem impossible, as all you wish to do is crawl up into a ball of fear, hiding yourself from all around you.

Actual physical symptoms such as your hyperventilation, gastrointestinal discomfort and rapidly fluctuating body temperature become unrecognizable from fearful thoughts. Coherency comes on in waves, for many a fight between feelings of the projected future causing nothing more than excess tension everywhere.

Some begin moving around irrationally; others delve into a deep reclusion, recoiling as each rippling fit of physical sensation and fearful foresight of the future tears the words from your mouth, the thoughts from your mind, and the air from each breath that you draw.

Fortunately, unbeknown to most, as your heart rate peaks and intensity places impounding pressure upon you, so does adrenaline rise, enabling you to overcome your state. Once the brink has been reached and you are pushed to a lethargic state of inaction, the fog conjured through your fearful patterns of thought begins to clear slowly.

You are left feeling drained, otherworldly but inadequate, with no motivation or energy to return to a joyful place of being. Yet the only thing which will bring normality and balance back to your brain and body is action. Perhaps eating a small meal despite the recent nausea, or stepping out of your comfort zone to an outside area, or even another room, will help restore your vigor and vitality.

Once you have managed to gain a good outlook once again, it may be hard, but it is best to evaluate the routines which led to the rise of anxiety. Self-reflection in a loving perception is the key to finding the root of panic attack triggers.

Varying Personal Intensities of Panic

A panic attack will trigger more immense reactions in certain areas of the body depending on your unique physiology. Those with underlying heart problems such as arrhythmias and plaque-laden arteries, as is common to heavy smokers and high cholesterol suffers, will feel the difficulty breathing to be the greatest challenge.

As the heart takes strain due to an extreme irregularity in its beat due to your anxiety, the pain can be become so sharp that you immediately start off a horrible pattern of thought.

Knowing that there is an underlying issue and feeling a pain connected thereto can lead many to hold focus upon the possibilities of complications arising from this part of the panic attack. Most fears are completely unfounded.

Correcting Imbalances

At times an imbalance of medications such as beta blockers and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors can intensify the entire experience. From turning the headaches into migraines, to taking away your energy and enthusiasm for days, the effects can be far reaching.

If you suffer from panic attacks, always evaluate your current course of medication alongside your diet and lifestyle. There may be an underlying imbalance which causes the mind to veer towards apprehension. Knowing yourself, mind, soul and body, is integral to reaching a healthy anxiety response.

Always look at all aspects of your life to determine what may be out of sync. It will not cure the problem, but it will help you to understand it which is a cure unto itself.

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