8 Symptoms of Panic Attacks

If you’ve ever seen someone become short of breath and look terrified without any apparent reason, they were likely going through a panic attack. These are greatly unsettling side effects of mental illness such as anxiety and depression. When someone has a panic attack, they feel as though they are in danger even without any logical cause. They might know internally that they are okay, but their bodies become so filled up with adrenaline and worry, it doesn’t matter.

While a panic attack alone cannot hurt someone, it can be a heavy burden to carry. They can strike unexpectedly, during inopportune times such as driving or when at work. While those who regularly have panic attacks can develop coping mechanisms, attacks are still very difficult to experience. They can last as long as 30 minutes and make the person feel exhausted afterward.

1. Racing heart

A racing heart is one of the biggest symptoms of a panic attack. As adrenaline flows through your body, the heart needs to pump as much blood as possible. When someone has a panic attack, they can feel intense palpitations in their chest. While their body is trying to protect them from their fear (by fighting in a “fight-or-flight” response), it can be difficult for someone dealing with a panic attack to not become further worried by their racing heart. They might get the idea that they are going to have a heart attack and become more agitated as a result.