People who experience anxiety attacks frequently have one or both of the two characteristic fears: fear of death and fear of insanity. The manifestations felt at the somatic level, during the panic attack, can be so unpleasant that the person worry about suffocating or having a heart attack. Also, the psychological state during the panic attack, the feeling of losing control over the situation, determines the person’s fear that they will go crazy.
Although neither death nor psychosis occurs as a result of a panic attack, the sensations felt in those moments are real and the fear is permanent. Psychological suffering is significant, affecting the quality as well as the daily routine.
For a distinct period of fear and discomfort to be diagnosed as a panic attack, 4 or more of the following 13 symptoms need to appear suddenly and escalate in intensity within 10 minutes:
- palpitations, strong heartbeat or accelerated heart rate;
- shortness of breath;
- feeling of suffocation;
- precordial pain or discomfort;
- nausea or abdominal distress;
- feeling dizzy, unbalanced or faint;
- depersonalization (detachment from oneself);
- fear of losing control or going insane;
- fear of death;
- paresthesias (numbness or tingling sensations);
- chills or heat waves
You don’t have to feel alone, looking for anxiety therapy help can be very beneficial and help get you feeling normal again.