How to Recognize a Panic Attack

By Sarah E. | Updated: Jun 18, 2020


Panic disorders are usually caused by genetic factors, stress, or environmental factors. However, menopausal women can suffer from panic attacks. A panic disorder is a mental condition that should not go untreated or unresolved.

How to Recognize a Panic Attack

Panic attacks can strike at any time, but they are usually triggered by a certain situation and are a characterized by both psychological and physical symptoms. Women experience panic attacks more frequently than men. Knowing the signs and symptoms of a panic attack can help you get through each episode and find effective treatment methods and coping mechanisms. For example, during an attack, it can be very beneficial to concentrate on your breathing. This will help calm you down as you let the attack pass.

What Are the Symptoms of Panic Disorder?

When you experience a panic attack, your body is unnecessarily entering a "fight-or-flight" state, and preparing for the danger it thinks you might encounter. Symptoms include:

Physical Symptoms

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Hyperventilation
  • Trembling
  • Profuse sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Blurred vision
  • Difficulty walking
  • Nausea
  • Chest and abdominal pain
  • Tingly or numb feelings, usually in the face or hands
  • Chills and hot flashes

Psychological Symptoms

How to Recognize a Panic Attack
  • Fear that you are going to die or be attacked
  • Fear that you are losing your mind
  • Detachment from yourself
  • Fear or phobia associated with the location where the attack happened or the situation that triggered the attack

What Can You Do to Prevent Panic Attacks?

The two most effective treatments for panic attacks are medication and therapy. A certain type of therapy called cognitive behavior therapy can be the most effective way to overcome a panic disorder. This type of therapy teaches a person different ways to behave, think, and react to situations that may lead to panic and panic attacks.

Anti-anxiety medications and antidepressants are commonly prescribed to treat panic disorders. However, these medications can have some serious side effects, so it is important to carefully weight their effects with a doctor before you choose to begin taking them.

More Information about Panic Disorders

Panic attacks cause fear in such a severe way that it is detrimental to a person's overall health. Panic attacks can be a symptom of an underlying mental health problem. If you do suffer from panic attacks, and the problem persists, you should consult your doctor. Click on the following link to read about treatments for menopause symptoms.

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