Signs You Are Having An Anxiety Attack

Anxiety attacks can be overwhelming and frightening because there are typically very few warnings that an attack is coming. One of the problems with diagnosing anxiety is that the symptoms of an anxiety attack can vary widely based on a person’s body chemistry, but there are some signs that are typical for most sufferers.


Heart Palpitations

Almost everyone who has an anxiety attack notices a change in their heart rate. The heart may begin to race in an uncomfortable way. Sometimes it can feel like the heart is skipping beats, or beating much harder than normal. Chest pressure and even some chest pain can accompany an anxiety attack.


Difficulty Breathing

Anxiety attacks commonly come with breathing problems. It can feel difficult to draw a full breath, or breathing may become shallow and quick. Occasionally the breathing trouble can lead to hyperventilation, which adds to the disorientation of the general attack.


Overwhelming Sense of Urgency

There may be a sudden feeling of overwhelming urgency. This may feel like the need to leave a room immediately, the need to run away, or just a general feeling of panic. The urgent need to do something can intensify quickly, which can cause reactions that range from crying to the inability to move.


Dizziness or Lightheadedness

One of the more uncomfortable sensations is intense dizziness or lightheadedness. This is generally a result of the breathing troubles that tend to accompany anxiety attacks. Sometimes the lightheaded feeling can be extreme enough that a person is certain they are going to pass out.


Heightened Sensations

During an anxiety attack the body’s senses become hyper aware of input. That means that lights seem unusually bright, noises seem unusually loud, and even a person’s clothes can feel scratchy and uncomfortable. This heightened awareness of sensation can increase the sense of urgency and the need to escape a situation immediately.

It is common for people who experience anxiety for the first time to believe they are having a heart attack or even dying. When a person becomes familiar with the most common signs of anxiety it can help them to understand what is really going on. Being aware of common symptoms can also help shorten an anxiety attack by removing some of the fear related to some of the more frightening symptoms.