If you have never experienced an anxiety attack before then you're probably wondering how to know if you're having a panic attack. If this is your first time, you may have been shocked at how intense the experience was and I don't blame you for being frightened by the attack.
Many people use the word 'panic' flippantly. What I mean by this is that someone might say "I was in such a panic!". All they mean by this is that they were worried about something.
But the true meaning of the word is quite different. It's an intensely fearful experience and typically only lasts a few minutes although there are some instances where it can happen in waves of up to around two hours or so.
If you have experienced any of the following symptoms, then you may very well have had your first anxiety attack.
- Very short, shallow and rapid breathing
- Accelerated heart rate
- Numbness or tingling in the hands and feet
- Feelings of being hot or cold
- Chest pain
- Fear of dying or going crazy
Many of you may have heard of Zoella whose real name is Zoe Sugg. She's managed to acquire a huge following online and blogs regularly about her battle with anxiety. You can find out more about the symptoms she experiences during an attack.
'When it's bad I can't even leave my bed': Vlogger Zoella reveals her daily battle with anxiety and panic attacks... and the doctors who tell her to just 'walk it off'
She described how the attacks would leave her feeling suffocated.
'My initial symptoms would happen whenever I felt in a situation where I felt I couldn't leave.
'My heart would race; I'd feel sick; my breath was short and quick; I felt like the room was closing in on me.
'It's almost like a part of my brain is telling me that I CANNOT leave and I am stuck, even though my conscious mind knows that isn't true. The subconscious mind is far more powerful.'
Despite her perky demeanor Zoella describes how her anxiety can often render her motionless and completely bring her to a halt.
I hope this article goes someway towards answering the question of whether you had a panic attack or not.
I find it very brave of people like Zoella who put themselves out there in front of thousands and thousands of people to share their own battles which I know provides a lot of encouragement to others who are suffering from the same problem.
So whether you're having full-blown or limited symptom attacks, where you are only experiencing 2 or 3 of the symptoms, rest assured you are not alone.
The encouraging thing is that it doesn't have to be this way. It is possible for you to stop suffering from this frightening, exhausting experience and you do not have to rely on prescription medication to achieve this.
If you'd like to find out more about a completely natural method called Panic Away then feel free to read about it here.
I know this experience can be extremely frightening and debilitating but hang in there because you can overcome it. All you need to do is learn how to reduce general anxiety and create a new positive way of thinking, new positive attitudes, and start taking back control again.
Feel free to spend some time browsing through my other posts and if you have any questions, then do ask.
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Hi there, my name’s Greg and I’ve been helping people overcome stress, anxiety and panic attacks for over 10 years.
As a practicing hypnotherapist, I’ve seen many people overcome debilitating anxiety and start living happy, stress-free and enjoyable lives.
My hope is to inspire and help you as much as I can. So feel free to leave comments and questions.