And panic attacks are when the body experiences an intense rush of mental and physical symptoms. Most of the panic attacks lasts between five and 20 minutes, although reports suggest some people can experience it for up to 1 hour.
Usually a response to a stressful situation, or the result of a panic disorder, can also occur when a person is having a heart attack. Many of the symptoms experienced during a panic attack are the same symptoms a person experiences during a heart attack.
Harvard Health says a panic attack is an intense attack of fear or anxiety that can feel like a heart attack, with chest pain, shortness of breath, sweating, nausea, dizziness, and a racing heart.
“This frightening episode prompted many to seek emergency care, where careful testing found no evidence of a heart problem,” Harvard Health said in a statement.
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“Instead, these individuals received a diagnosis of what is known as non-cardiac chest pain (NCCP), which is surprisingly common.”
As many as one in three people experience NCCP at some point in their life. While some cases are eventually traced to gastrointestinal or muscle-related problems, a number of people with NCCP have very high levels of anxiety.
The mental health charity Mind describes panic attacks as a type of fear response. This is the body’s normal exaggerated response to danger, stress, or excitement. Panic attack symptoms can escalate very quickly.
The physical sensations of a panic attack include palpitations, a heartbeat, and feeling faint and dizzy. People may feel very hot or cold, they may swear, tremble, feel nauseous and experience pain in the chest or abdomen.
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It can feel as if you are struggling to breathe, it can even feel as if you are choking. Some people may feel disconnected from their mind, body, or environment, which is a type of dissociation.