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How To Tell If You Re Having An Anxiety Attack

How To Tell If Youre Having An Anxiety Attack

11 Signs Youre Having An Anxiety Attack

If you feel like you had severe anxiety, then you had an anxiety attack. Any form of severe anxiety can count as an attack. But for those that are experiencing something more like panic attacks, the experience tends to be similar between different people.

Recall that anxiety attacks can mimic other health problems. If you havent been to a doctor, its a good idea to go at least once to rule out any more serious issues. Make sure your doctor knows about anxiety, however. Not all doctors are aware of the severity of anxiety attack symptoms. Some may not believe that anxiety can cause so many physical symptoms and sensations, but it absolutely can. Thats why its so important to find the right doctor.

The symptoms below are often experienced differently by different people. During an anxiety attack, your body experiences a wave of stress that is so profound, its difficult to know exactly how your individual body will react. Yet below are some of the most common symptoms of an anxiety attack:

You may not experience all of these symptoms at once either, and each one may cause various degrees of severity. You may also feel as though there is no way that it is an anxiety attack. Anxiety attacks and panic attacks are often so severe that the sufferers live in constant fear of the symptoms coming back.

Anxiety attacks also tend to peak around 10 minutes . Then as they dissipate, they often leave you feeling fatigued and drained, possibly fearful of another attack.

Be Aware Of What Your Body Is Telling You Before An Anxiety Attack

As you can see, there are quite a few possible signs of an anxiety attack. They arent all universal, but most sufferers will experience one or all of these. Although it wont stop an attack, being aware of an anxiety attack will help you to keep it at bay, or reduce the severity.

But if you havent been diagnosed, but are a frequent sufferer of these symptoms, it is worth seeking an official diagnosis so you can get treatment.

If you found this article useful, be sure to check out our other blog posts on our website.

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Focus On Your Senses And Surroundings

When you are having a panic attack, you can feel out of touch with things around you. One way you can feel back in touch with your surroundings is by picking out five things you can see, hear, taste, touch, or smell. This is called a grounding exercise. You can pick a couple for each sense, or focus on one sense, like finding five things that you can see. This can help you feel connected with your surroundings and in control.

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Always Seek Professional Advice

Always seek medical advice if you are not sure whether your symptoms, or another persons symptoms, indicate a panic attack. In an emergency, dial triple zero for an ambulance. Its important to see your doctor for a check-up to make sure that any recurring physical panic-like symptoms are not due to illnesses, including:

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The Symptoms Of Anxiety Can Be Hard To Detect Here Are The Ones You Need To Pay Attention To And How To Know If You May Have An Anxiety Disorder

The Feeling Of Anxiety Attack

A Portland, Oregon-based freelance writer, Stephanie Booths stories have appeared in print magazines like Real Simple, Cosmopolitan, Psychology Today, and Parents newspapers like The Washington Post and Los Angeles Times websites like Healthline and WebMD, and the occasional digital health app. When not writing, shes reading, hiking, doing yoga, and wishing she had a million dollars to donate to Best Friends Animal Society.

Everyone can expect to have the occasional bout of anxietymaybe you get nervous before an interview or a first datebut sometimes, that anxiety doesn’t subside, which may indicate an anxiety disorder.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health , there are a few different types of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and phobia-related anxiety disorders, but they all hinge on one important aspect: when overwhelming feelings of worry or fear impinge on a person’s daily life.

Researchers believe that anxiety disorders can stem from both genetic and environmental factors, and these anxiety disorders are typically treated through a variety of interventions, including psychotherapy, medication, or a combination of the two, according to the NIMH.

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How To Tell The Difference Between Anxiety And A Medical Emergency

Complete Question

How can I know if my symptoms are caused by anxiety or a real medical condition/emergency, such as a heart attack, stroke, MS, or cancer?


Because there are many medical conditions that can cause anxiety-like sensations and symptoms, we recommend that you discuss all new, changing, persistent, and re-occurring symptoms with your doctor. If your doctor concludes that your symptoms are caused solely from anxiety and/or stress, you can be assured that there isnt another medical condition causing them. Generally, most doctors can easily tell the difference between anxiety and/or stress caused sensations and symptoms from those caused by other medical reasons â because other medical conditions/emergencies have sensations and symptoms that are unlike those caused by anxiety alone.

If you are uncertain about your doctors diagnosis, however, you may want to seek a second and even third opinion. But if all three opinions concur, you can feel confident that anxiety and/or stress is the cause of your symptoms and not some other medical or biological problem.

In this case, if symptoms appear, you can be confident that anxiety and/or stress is the cause, and nothing else.

Moreover, its wise to become familiar with your anxiety symptoms so that when they occur, you know they are anxiety related only. This knowledge can help you contain when they occur rather than reacting with fear and uncertainty.

Some People May Develop Panic Disorders

For many people, the feelings of panic occur only occasionally during periods of stress or illness. A person who experiences recurring panic attacks is said to have panic disorder, which is a type of anxiety disorder. They generally have recurring and unexpected panic attacks and persistent fears of repeated attacks.

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Panic Attacks And Panic Disorder

Panic disorder is characterized by repeated, unexpected panic attacks, as well as fear of experiencing another episode. Agoraphobia, the fear of being somewhere where escape or help would be difficult in the event of a panic attack, may also accompany a panic disorder. If you have agoraphobia, you are likely to avoid public places such as shopping malls, or confined spaces such as an airplane.

What To Do When You Have An Anxiety Attack

How do you know if you’re having a panic attack?

Anxiety attacks often need to run their course. Once they’ve started, there is very little that you can do to stop them completely. They’re a reaction that your body has that is somewhat beyond your control. They can be prevented, and their severity can be lessened, but they are very hard to stop.

Reducing its severity has to do with reacting correctly to the symptoms. Remember – the physical symptoms you experience are very real, and very disruptive. But they’re not related to any health problem, and solely a result of your anxiety. If you believe you feel an anxiety attack coming or you’re certain you’re in the middle of the one, try the following:

Drinking water may also calm the mind, and if you feel strong enough, a good jog can get your body to breathe better and use oxygen at a healthier pace.

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How To Cope With Panic Attacks

When you have had a panic attack, you might worry about if â or when â you are next going to have one. This can make everyday tasks like going to school, leaving the house or meeting up with friends much more difficult. But remember, you are not alone and there is support available to help you get through this. If you are worried about when you are next going to have a panic attack, here are some things that can help you cope.

Speak to someone you trust. If you are feeling anxious or worried that you might have a panic attack, talk to friends or family. They can help you take your mind off what is making you feel panicked and support you to find the help you need. If you are struggling to say how you are feeling, you can always write your thoughts down or put them in notes on your phone if you are planning to speak to a teacher or your GP.

If you are worried about having a panic attack at school, college, or university, speak to a teacher or a member of staff. They can work with you to help you with things like finding a safe space to take some time out if you are feeling anxious or panicked.

If you feel like youre struggling to cope with everyday tasks, speak to your GP. They can listen to how you are feeling and suggest different types of treatments like therapy or counselling to help you tackle your panic attacks.

Symptoms Of Anxiety Attacks

It is normal to feel anxious in response to certain situations or experiences. Our bodies have a natural fight-or-flight response when faced with danger or stress. Anxiety attacks go beyond feeling butterflies in your stomach when youre nervous and extend to an overwhelming feeling of helplessness.

The signs and symptoms of an anxiety attack can vary from person to person but are generally experienced as both physical and psychological indicators. Many times the symptoms occur in response to a trigger that the person perceives as a threat or possible danger. Other times, the symptoms can occur spontaneously.

A person experiencing an anxiety attack could have any number of the following signs and symptoms:

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How To Stop An Anxiety Attack

Now, youre going to be okay. These feelings will pass. You can do this. Just notice where you are. What can you feel around you? Name three things that you can touch, and describe them.

So for example, say, Oh, I can feel my pants. Theyre soft. I can feel the chair. Its cool. Do that with three things.

And now, can you slow down your out-breath? Just breathe out a little bit more slowly.

You are safe right now. Youre not in physical danger. You are safe.

Now, anxiety is uncomfortable, but it wont harm you. So these feelings that youre having, you can handle them. You can feel them and be okay, and they will pass.

So now lets do something sensory. Lets help you get grounded in your senses. If you can, go wash your face in cold water or hold something cold, like an ice cube.

Now, if thats not an option, then I want you to just gently pat your face.

Breathe out slowly.

Notice the sensation of your hands on your cheeks, on your forehead, on your nose, on your lips, and on your chin. Just notice what that feels like.

In this moment, here and now, you are safe.

If youd like, you can try giving yourself a little hug.

Take a slow breath in, and if you can, breathe out slowly through your nose.

Lets slow things down. Can you go to a quiet, safe place where theres less stimulation? Maybe a bedroom or a bathroom. Or step outside for a breath of fresh air. Or maybe its with a pet or with a safe person.

Name three things you can see around you.

Take another slow breath.

When Should I Call The Doctor

How To Tell If Someone Is Having An Anxiety Attack

Some panic attacks have signs that can be confused with a physical problem like a heart attack. If you have chest pain or trouble breathing or lose consciousness, seek emergency medical care.

You should call your healthcare provider if you have panic attacks and experience:

  • Chronic anxiety that interferes with daily life.
  • Difficulty concentrating.

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What Does A Panic Attack Feel Like

Unfortunately, panic attacks can occur suddenly, without warning. Theres no way to stop a panic attack after it starts. Attacks typically last less than 30 minutes, but sometimes can vary.

A panic attack is an abrupt period of intense fear and is accompanied by four or more of the following emotional, physiological and behavioral symptoms:


Signs Youre Having An Anxiety Attack

Its entirely normal to experience occasional anxiety. Work, school, relationships, finances, deadlines, uncertainties, you name itlife can offer up stress enough to occasionally churn stomach acids and render some sleepless nights.

Occasional anxiety, however, is quite different from an anxiety attack. Those who experience anxiety attacks will tell you they are awful, vivid and frightening.

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How To Overcome Travel Anxiety

To help yourself manage travel anxiety:â

Identify your triggers. Triggers are things that start or increase your anxiety. They include fear of being in a new place, the stress of planning, or physical things like fatigue or low blood sugar.

Plan well. If you get travel anxiety because you worry about what will happen, create a battle plan:

  • Make sure you have enough money. Have a friend you can contact in an emergency.
  • Keep a map or guidebook in your bag or on your phone
  • Buy travel or health insurance before you leave
  • Before you leave, research places you can get health services if you need them
  • Plan for people or services to cover your responsibilities at home while awayâ

Practice relaxation. Teach yourself relaxation techniques and do them before and during your trips. Mindful meditation helps you relax and see the positive side of things. Breathing deeply and relaxing your muscles can also help.

Bring along some distractions. Do you like playing online games, reading novels, or listening to music? Enjoying a favorite activity as you travel can reduce the symptoms of anxiety. These distractions will keep your mind off the things that stress you out.

Also, consider seeing a therapist. They can recommend effective ways for you to deal with your anxiety. A doctor or psychiatrist can also prescribe medication to ease your symptoms.

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Why Do I Feel Anxious And Panicky

How To Know If You Have Anxiety

Anxiety is a feeling of unease, worry or fear. Everyone feels anxious at some point in their life, but for some people it can be an ongoing problem.

A little bit of anxiety can be helpful for example, feeling anxious before an exam might make you more alert and improve your performance. But too much anxiety could make you tired and unable to concentrate.

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What Are The Symptoms Of A Panic Attack And Panic Disorder

A panic attack may cause a feeling of intense fear, terror, or anxiety. Other symptoms include trouble breathing, chest pain or tightness, and a fast or irregular heartbeat.

When you have panic disorder, you have repeated, unexpected panic attacks. And you may worry that youll have another attack. Because of this fear, you may change your daily activities to avoid situations that may trigger it.

Causes Of Travel Anxiety

There’s no one cause of travel anxiety, and the triggers differ from person to person. Some people have travel anxiety their entire lives. You might get it after having a bad experience related to travel. Or you might have it for no reason at all.

Some common causes of travel anxiety include:

Fear of flying. One of the most common issues in people who have travel anxiety is the fear of flying. This fear might be triggered by:

  • The idea of flying miles above the ground
  • Fears of crashing
  • Feelings of claustrophobia

âYou can have these feelings even when you know air travel is statistically safe.â

Being outside your comfort zone. Do you ever feel uncomfortable when youâre away from home? A severe version of this is called agoraphobia, or the fear of public places. This fear has become more common since the COVID-19 pandemic.

Horror travel stories. Hearing too much bad news about crimes and injuries that happen to people while they travel can affect your psychological well-being. You may start to associate travel with tragedy.

Mid-trip concerns. You may not have anxiety before you travel, but it can catch up with you once youâre on the road. You might worry about:

  • The details of your accommodations once you arrive
  • The discomfort of being in an unfamiliar place, including not knowing the language or people in the area
  • The effects of jetlag
  • How to get to places you need to visit, like supermarkets or shopping malls
  • Not having enough money to last through the trip

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What Anxiety Can Look Like

When you have an anxiety disorder, you may behave differently than you used to. There are different types of anxiety disorders, and its possible to have just one or a couple that overlap.

  • You may lash out, lose your temper, or feel angry most of the time. Maybe you snap at your friends or family.
  • You may have panic attacks.
  • You may start avoiding certain situations. Maybe you stay in your room because you dont want to go to a party or hang out with people, or you skip class or dont show up to an exam because youre convinced youre going to fail.
  • You get tired a lot or have trouble falling or staying asleep.
  • You may turn to alcohol or other substances because they feel like a quick way to turn down the thoughts in your head or calm your body.
  • You may spend most of your time playing games on your phone because it distracts you from your worries.
  • You may feel restless or have trouble focusing or paying attention.

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