5 Signs of an anxiety attack
Updated: Nov 22, 2019
Anxiety attack symptoms tend to mimic many of the same symptoms as a heart attack and can come on you without any warning. You don’t need to have a diagnosis of an anxiety disorder to suffer from an anxiety attack, it's actually sometimes the only visible sign of an anxiety disorder otherwise unrecognized.
Basically, an anxiety attack is scary as hell. The only positive is that it cannot kill you.
If you've never had one, here are five signs that you might be experiencing an anxiety attack.
Sudden Terror or Sense of Impending Doom
One of the most common signs that you are experiencing an anxiety attack is the overwhelming fear or sense of impending doom. The terror that you experience can be paralyzing and is a result of adrenaline flooding your body due to the perception of immediate danger.
It's a feeling that is very difficult to explain to someone else, but you will definitely know it if you experience it.
Chest Pains and Difficulty Breathing
This is the most common symptom that might have you feeling like you’re having a heart attack. The pains that you feel in your chest during a panic attack can be severe and choking. The extreme anxiety causes your muscles, including muscles in your chest and your throat, to contract. Extreme fear will do that to you.
Since chest pain may be linked to a heart attack, it's always best to get checked out by the doctor to rule out a possible heart disease.
With high levels of anxiety, you can end up hyperventilating, which can cause an imbalance in the carbon dioxide levels in your body. In essence, your organs - especially your brain - do not receive enough oxygen to function properly.
This can lead to dizziness and other symptoms.
Increased Heart Rate
When you are experiencing an anxiety attack, your body responds as if it is facing imminent danger. Nervous signals activate the fight-or-flight response in your body, which produces a rush of adrenaline in your blood stream. This surge in hormones causes many symptoms, including an increased heart rate, which can make you think that you are suffering from a heart attack.
Feeling Out of Control
The intense fear and physical symptoms that you experience during a panic attack can often leave you feeling out of control. This can significantly heighten the fear that you are already suffering and may lead you to feel disconnected from yourself. The surrounding environment may feel distorted or foggy.
The symptoms that you may be experiencing during a panic attack are much like the fight-or-flight response that is encountered during a dangerous situation, but they tend to come from nowhere when you are dealing with an anxiety attack. Fortunately, there are several things that you can do to help alleviate your symptoms and stop the panic attack in its tracks.