Panic Attacks: Recognizing One and What To Do
Knowing what to do when someone is experiencing a panic attack can have a major impact on them
July 10, 2021
People often joke that they are suffering from a “panic attack” without actually knowing what a panic attack is. Such talk only contributes to the stigma that surrounds panic disorder and around those who experience panic attacks.
A panic attack is a sudden episode of intense fear, often triggering physical reactions even when there is no real threat.
Panic attacks can be very debilitating. They may even physically immobilize someone.
When a person has a panic attack, their heart starts pounding and they have trouble breathing. Some people feel they are losing touch with reality. In some cases, they may not know the cause.
Some people only have a single panic attack., while others may experience repeat episodes. For those who have recurring episodes, mental health professionals can work to help identify the cause and triggers.
Overall, the exact cause of panic disorder and panic attacks is unclear. However, panic attacks do appear to run in families. In some situations, a major life shift can bring on a panic attack.