They vary, I have had one last 20 minutes but then I dont feel right for the rest of the day. Sometimes they are brief like 5 minutes but the majority of mine are about 20 minutes. Most people experience anxiety after the actual attack which can lead you to think the attack is lasting much longer.
Thanks again Alison :) yeah come to think of it.. it actually happens just for 10-20 minutes to me. And then i started to feel down-ish. Im confused, whether it is really an anxiety attacks or it is a symptoms of heart attack.
I too suffer from attacks of anxiety and they vary in duration.
I do use deep breathing techniques and sometimes it works
If not will take my prescription Med.
I see my Psychiatrist every six months just to check in.
All the Best
Can you describe to me, what and how the anxiety attacks are. Im confused. I dont know whether it is just an anxiety attacks or worst, heart attacks.
Do you have pain in the left chest? Do you have pain in your left arm and left shoulder and neck? Do you have shortness of breath?? coz i do.
I went to the doctor, and they say i am fine, and my ecg,blood,x-ray,urine test says my heart are okay.
Below I have cut and pasted a brief paper by Dr.Sharma regarding the similarities of panic and heart attacks. Please keep in mind that almost all of us who suffer with anxiety or panic attacks believe we are having heart attacks. In my 50+ years of living with panic, I'd guess that I've had no fewer than 400 heart attacks!
I very recently had my cardiac enzymes checked and I have NEVER had a heart attack.
There is much to learn and I suggest you do some research on reputable sites like the Mayo or Cleveland Clinics.
You've had your heart checked so it may be time to address the anxiety issue.
I wish you well
Vijai P. Sharma, Ph.D
Anxiety or panic attacks are one of the most common and disabling problems encountered by both mental health professions and general medical practitioners. Thousands of Americans rush to the hospital emergency rooms every day suspecting they are having a heart attack, but medical tests show that their hearts are in sound condition.
This happened with "Joe". Joe had several deadlines to meet. Things get really hectic towards the end of a year at his work, with annual reports, performance appraisals, and projects to be rounded up, all around the same time. One day Joe felt a mild chest pain but forgot all about it as he focused on the project at hand. Driving home Joe experienced a sudden increase in heart rate along with rapid breathing. He felt a hot flash permeate his entire body, leading to profuse perspiration. He felt tingling and numbing in the feet and hands followed by shaking and trembling. Joe was puzzled that he would have hot flashes in some parts of his body and cold chills in others. He felt faintish, somewhat dizzy and nauseated. Joe began to think, "This never happened to me before. I am either going crazy or having a heart attack. What if I die right now here on this road! Nobody to help me here."
Joe felt overwhelming fear, and the symptoms of fast breathing, heart pounding, sweating, and shaking increased. Just then, Joe saw a blue sign that read, "Hospital" and he sped down to the hospital emergency room. At the E.R. they did an arterial blood gas test and EKG to assess the heart function. Upon completion of tests, doctors advised Joe that his heart was in "good" condition and his symptoms were consistent with a panic attack and hyperventilation. He was released to the care of his general physician with no further instruction. Joe was more confused than ever and thought to himself, "If I don't have a heart problem, why did it feel like a heart attack? Does this mean I am going crazy?"
This scenario is actually a very common one and occurs in individuals who have panic attacks and have not had the opportunity too learn about them. Joe was an MBA, not a medical graduate. During a panic attack, people experience symptoms that appear much like those of a heart attack. They believe they are facing a truly life threatening event and until they are medically cleared of any danger, they fear they may be dying of a heart attack.
Even after several panic attacks, a person may still believe that "unlike the last time this time it is for real." When a panic attack is over, patients know that their heart is normal, but during an attack, they cannot think logically. In the panic mode, catastrophic thinking replaces the normal thinking and reasoning ability. The pounding heart deafens the faint voice of the logical mind at such a time. However, after ten to fifteen minutes, which is the average duration of a panic attack, a person can again believe that his or her heart is okay, but he or she wouldn't do that during a panic attack.
The American Heart Association says that body is likely to send one or more of the following warning signals of a heart attack:
Uncomfortable pressure, fullness, squeezing or pain in the center of the chest lasting more than a few minutes.
Pain spreading to the shoulders, neck or arms.
Chest discomfort with lightheadedness, fainting, sweating, nausea or shortness of breath.
According to the American Psychiatric Association, a panic attack is diagnosed by the presence of at least four of the following symptoms: chest pain or pressure on the chest: shortness of breath; dizziness or faintness; sweating; palpitations or accelerated heart rate; nausea; numbness or tingling in one or more parts of the body; hot flushes or chills and rear of dying, going crazy or losing control.
Notice how similar the symptoms of a heart attack are to those of a panic attack! Therefore, it is best to get a thorough medical examination as recommended. You may also find solace in recent research findings that the majority of healthy people occasionally experience some type of occasional heart irregularity such as skipped beat, pounding in the chest or palpitations.
There is no connection between panic attacks and heart disease except that the symptoms of both feel so much alike. Some people after the first panic attack develop intense fear about having a heart attack. They then start monitoring themselves very closely, trying to detect any signs of a heart disease. So, when their heart rate increases which is normal for everyone under excitement, stress or fatigue, they think they are having a heart attack. Then the mere thought of having a heart attack sends the heart and the rest of the body into a frenzy.
Other people who do not suffer from panic attacks also experience similar cardiac changes such as heart palpitations or heart racing, but they don't get alarmed and don't view them as warning signs of a heart attack, stroke or some other life threatening illness.
for me they can last as long as I worry example: 2hrs once
I get dizzy, racing heart, ringing plugged ears, tingling hands, neausea, eye sparks, short of breathe and shaking...
For myself the initial severe attack lasts about five to ten minutes, with the after-effects lasting a good one to two days. A mid-range panic attack lasts about five minutes with the after-effects subsiding by the following morning. A mild panic attack lasts about five minutes, however there are no after effects.
A full-blown panic attack can have multiple mini aftershocks, a lot like an earthquake. For myself, shopping is a good example of this. I have the initial attack, and throughout the shopping trip may have another two mild attacks followed by even milder anxiety until I'm out of the situation. If the exposure increases even more (ie. shopping at a busy grocery store, then heading to an even busier Walmart) I may even have a second severe panic attack.
People suffer different symptoms during their attacks. Sometimes I have chest pains, sometimes I don't. When I do get chest pain, I get a strong pain in my shoulder and arm first, and my immediate thought is "heart attack". The chest pain happens most often when I'm bubbling up to a panic attack (eg. thinking about going somewhere, then getting on a bus. both cause me anxiety; the second bout of anxiety is larger than the first, and the chest pain begins to kick in), versus when it's an instant attack. My neck pain comes from tensing up my muscles doing what I call turtling: lifting my shoulders up to my ears, dropping my head as far down into my shoulders as I can and clenching my arms and hands tight to my body; these all put strain on the neck, shoulders and back.
I'd suggest talking to your doctor about getting your heart checked for safety's sake. Explain to him that you're not sure whether you're having an anxiety attack or if something is actually wrong with your heart. He'll likely go through a few tests, and may also ask about when and how often your symptoms occur. Whether it's a heart problem or anxiety, your doctor should be able to figure out which is occurring and help you treat the problem.
Thank you so much for the knowledge, now i understand a bit about whats im facing with. Last morning, i have an attack, and i went right away to the ER. I had an ecg and a BP reading, which showing that im okay, i asked him if im having a panic attacks.. he cant confirm that im having a panic attack, cause he's just a nurse. but he says theres nothing wrong with my heart. I think i should get my cardiac enzyme checked.
But thanks again you guys are so kind to answer my questions.
I have another question, CAN ANXIETY ATTACKS BE CURED? is there any med for it?
it seriously affects my everyday life.
While the ER was the right place for you to go at the time, I strongly urge you to see a cardiologist who will do a much more thorough cardiac work-up, once and for all ruling out heart disease. Having your cardiac enzymes checked is a fairly long process as they need to take a blood draw 3X at 8 hour intervals. I'm sure this can be done on an outpatient basis. That test will show if you have ANY heart muscle damage, which indicates if you've EVER had a heart attack. Hopefully that will ease your mind as far as the chest pains go. Your cardiologist can also explain the other 100 reasons you can have chest pains and 99% of those are not fatal.
Anxiety attacks can be cured, and if not cured, controlled. With therapy and medication, many times a person CAN get past having attacks. For many of us, they are a lifelong issue that we learn to deal with......often with the help of meds and getting back into some therapy. A bit like having your car tuned up. Anxiety can come in cycles, it can go into a sort of "remission" until our stress levels get out of control or something traumatic happens. Then it can re-emerge. But it can be months, even years in between cycles.
I would suggest therapy to find out the root cause of your anxiety so you can deal with it. Sometimes doing that will banish it forever. Sometimes not. But it very seldom just goes away by itself.
Talk with your doctor, ask for a referral to a therapist. In this day and age, we must all be proactive in our own healthcare.
We are always here, so if you have more questions, please write! We all know exactly what you're going through and how alone and scared you can feel. You're not alone!
Thanks again, you really helps me clear my head. I will go to see my doctor ASAP. How long have you been suffering from anxiety attacks? i just started i dnt know like 2-3month ago, the first month i was really scared, i really dont know what is happening to me, i have that extream sensation.. you know like "you've been drop from 1000ft" kinda feeling, and started to feel its not safe, feels like running, or move to some place that i could possible feel safe, is this normal during anxiety attacks?
I've been electrocuted and i had a road accident last year. Could this be the cause of me having panic attacks?
Can i still do sports? Im kinda active in sports, i play soccer. And it is really depressing, to think that i might black out during soccer.
Im gonna take your advise i will see a cardiologist. Hopefully it'll come out good.
Better Days Ahead
It's good you'll be seeing your doctor. Talk to him about everything that is bothering you and ask for a referral to a good therapist. They may or may not suggest some medication(s) to help you calm down while your doing your therapy work.
Your description of your feeling during an anxiety attack are absolutely normal. That feeling of wanting to get to some place safe is called the "fight or flight" reaction. It's caused by the release of adrenalin into our systems and causes our heart rate to speed up, our muscles tense, we get a sort of tunnel vision, our blood flows inwards to protect our vital organs and this can leave our extremities feeling numb and tingly. The only problem with this release of adrenalin is that it happens at the wrong time for no reason. We aren't in any danger, we don't need to fight or run, so it scares the daylights out of us that all these feelings are overwhelming us. So yes, those feelings are a "normal"
sensation during an anxiety attack.
It's very possible that you are suffering from PTSD, post traumatic stress disorder. Being electrocuted has to be traumatic, to say the least and bad car accidents are well known to cause PTSD. PTSD can manifest as panic attacks. This is something you need to discuss with your doctor and your therapist as soon as possible. Those could be the root cause of your anxiety.
As to whether or not you can still do sports is a question ONLY your doctor can answer for you. It would all depend on any residual problems from being electrocuted and the car accident. When you say it's really depressing to think you might "black out" during soccer................has this been happening to you? If so, you need to see your doctor ASAP!
I'm sure everything will be OK, but you need answers to your health questions from your doctors and help with the anxiety from a therapist. Think of it as "pre-soccer" training!
As for me, Wade, I have PTSD which manifests as severe panic attacks. I've been dealing with it now for over 50 years. Don't let that frighten you..........I'm a bit like Humpty Dumpty. The shrinks put me back together, I just have a few "cracks" left. Such is life, and it's good.
I wish you great mental health
Thanks for your time, i hope my questions doesn't troubles you. But i still have many more to ask. I hope its okay with you.
I guess it all started after i've been electrocuted. I tend to woke up from sleep, feeling like im having a nightmare, but i wasn't having a nightmare, its only the feeling of it. Sometimes it happens like 5 or 10 minutes after i felt asleep. And after the road accident it getting worst, i started to get the "fight or flight" feelings almost at everywhere at anytime. But at that time i wasn't sure whats happening, so i read at the newspaper about hypertension, and go for a checkup. At that time my BP was high, 150/94. I guess it was the white coat hypertension. I went for another checkup and my BP is okay. And from that moment on, every time i got an attack, i feel so scared. So i google everything, so i end up, thinking i might having a heart problems. Because every time i have these attacks, it all linked up to heart attacks. I mean the symptoms are. I went to the doctors 3 times last month, they run all test, i guess. I have an x-ray of my chest, a blood test and a urine test and ECG. Which are showing that my hearts were okay. But still i have the fear of i might be getting a heart attack. Im basically scared every time i have the attacks, you know, of dying,hospitalized, that kind of scare. Do you have this kinda feeling?
PTSD? this is the first time i heard of it.
No i have not "black out" during soccer, but the racing heart during/after soccer really scares me, i dont know whether its normal or not anymore, i mean having that kinda of racing heart.
From your story, i think i too might have to bare with this sickness for a long time, how do you cope with it?
Im having an attack right now, im trying to be calm, and not to think negatively. I don't know, things doesn't seems right anymore.