A sudden fear grips you, and you begin to feel strange physical symptoms and sensations of doom and worry. Is this a panic attack? Sudden, overwhelming fear: That’s panic in a nutshell. You may have felt that kind of sudden, overwhelming fear in terrifying situations – like when you’re forced to slam on the brakes to narrowly miss a car speeding through a red light or when a large dog lunges at you with teeth bared. But a panic attack can happen at moments that have nothing to do with terror – like in the midst of a deep sleep or a dull meeting or while in a class or stuck in traffic or in line at the grocery store. And you don’t have to have a diagnosed panic disorder to experience a panic attack. Panic attacks come on suddenly and unpredictably, and often peak after about 10 to 20 minutes mark. An attack may include several or many of the following symptoms: a sudden feeling of impending doom or death a feeling like you need to escape from where you are a fear of losing control or “going crazy” a feeling of unreality or like you’re detached from yourself rapid heart rate, chest pain, or discomfort sweating, chills, or hot flashes shortness of breath tightness in your throat or trouble swallowing numbness or tingling sensations
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Related More in Atrial Fibrillation NEED TO KNOW Pounding in your chest, shortness of breath, and lightheadedness can be symptoms of atrial fibrillation , or a panic attack. Seek medical help if you think you have afib or panic symptoms . It’s important for a doctor to differentiate between the two conditions. If your heart starts racing, your mind might, too: Is this a panic attack? Is this a heart problem? Sometimes it’s hard to tell even for doctors. The irregular heartbeat known as atrial fibrillation (afib), a physical disorder, shares some symptoms with a panic attack, an emotional problem, said John Day, MD, director of Heart Rhythm Services at Intermountain Medical Center in Salt Lake City.
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The level of concern is not in synch with reality and is greatly magnified. Most people with GAD realize that their concerns are overblown, but they cannot seem to shake their anxiety. The symptoms typically come on slowly, typically between childhood and middle age, but they can occur at any time. In some instances, a major life event, such as a change in heath or a life transition such as a divorce, can trigger the onset of GAD. The symptoms tend to ebb and flow, but can be exacerbated during times of stress. What sets the worry of GAD suffers apart from the normal concerns is that the worry is intrusive, excessive, debilitating and persistent and lasts for more than six months. In terms of behavior, GAD can cause difficulty in concentrating or focusing, and an inability to relax, enjoy quiet time, or to be alone. Fatigue, nausea and headaches are some of the physical symptoms of GAD.
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