A Comprehensive Guide for Understanding the Symptoms, Causes and Treatments of Panic Attack

Panic attack refers to a severe mental illness involving excessive fear, worry and discomfort. A person with a panic attack often feels like they are having a heart attack, which makes them more worried and feared. According to research evidence, more than 40% of people in the United States are diagnosed with panic attacks every year. Although there are some effective treatments for panic attacks, one must gain more insights about this severe mental health issue. From discovering the symptoms to exploring the causes, everything holds equal importance in offering you a speedy recovery. In this article, we will talk about those symptoms, causes, and treatments.

Symptoms of Panic Attack

A panic attack often triggers various physical, mental, and emotional discomforts. Although the intensity of this discomfort may differ from person to person, there are some common symptoms of panic attacks, such as

Excessive fear

Excessive fear is one of the most evident symptoms of panic attacks. Sometimes, it involves intense fear of death. In this stage, people often feel everything is out of control, making them worry and fear about their future. Such irresistible fear becomes persistent with time and usually makes people excessively worried and act irrationally.

Rapid heartbeat & Breathing difficulty

Rapid heartbeat is another common symptom of panic attack; it makes them feel they are experiencing a heart attack. Such heart-racing symptoms often cause intense discomfort and gradually lead to breathing difficulty. However, this painful sensation doesn’t last more than a few minutes.

Over sweating

As mentioned, panic attack often produces similar symptoms to a heart attack. Over-sweating is a common symptom of a panic attack, which makes it difficult to differentiate from the symptoms of a heart attack. People in the beginning stage of a panic attack start to sweat excessively. They even find it difficult to control, which makes them fear more about the situation.

Chest pain

Sudden chest pain is often seen in people diagnosed with panic disorder. Panic disorder involves several episodes of panic attacks. This intense chest pain is common in every episode of a panic attack. Such irresistible chest pain often leads to the wrong diagnosis. People frequently misunderstand this symptom as a symptom of a heart attack and end up getting hospitalized.

Lack of concentration

People experiencing a panic attack face extreme difficulty in concentrating. They even fail to focus on the nearby surroundings. They often report having blurred vision, which affects their ability to spot and understand what’s happening around them. Such sudden loss of concentration is a very evident symptom of a panic attack; however, the severity of this symptom often varies from person to person.

What are the causes of Panic attacks?

To discover some effective treatments for panic attacks, one must find the root causes. There are several factors impacting a person’s mental health and leading to severe mental health issues like panic disorder. Here, we list some primary reasons that might trigger several panic attacks.

Imbalance in Neurotransmitters

According to research evidence, certain neurotransmitters play a pivotal role in triggering the symptoms of panic attacks. These neurotransmitters are also known as chemical messengers. Sudden imbalance in neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine can contribute to significant mental health issues such as panic attacks. Such chemical imbalance can often lead to severe symptoms like breathing difficulties, lack of concentration and loss of control over thoughts and emotions.

Traumatic events

Sudden traumatic events can often cause panic attacks. Severe life events such as the death of parents or spouses, loss of a job, or huge financial loss often trigger panic attacks. In this stage, a person experiences huge difficulty in coping with such massive losses and gradually develops intense symptoms of panic attacks. In such conditions, therapy and counseling become an absolute necessity.

Hereditary factor

A person with a family history of panic attacks is more likely to be diagnosed with panic disorder at any stage in their life. Also, people with a previous family history of anxiety disorder can develop severe signs and symptoms of panic attacks at a difficult stage of their lives. Researchers have found a strong positive correlation between heredity and panic disorder.


People with specific phobias are more likely to experience panic attacks in those particular situations. For example, a person with social phobia might experience a panic attack while interacting in a big, crowded social situation. Such specific phobias often contribute to sudden panic attacks.

Treatments of Panic Attack

Although panic attack is a severe mental health issue, it’s not life-threatening. With the proper treatment approaches, you can get permanent relief from panic attacks. Here, we are listing some effective treatments for panic attacks.

Therapy & Counseling

CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) works well in minimizing the frequency and severity of panic attacks. Here, the therapist helps you spot negative behavioral patterns and shows some practical coping techniques to deal with those negative thoughts and behavioral patterns. However, one must continue all CBT sessions to achieve the desired result. Furthermore, counseling and talk therapy are also effective remedies for people suffering from panic attacks.


If Imbalances in neurotransmitters cause panic attacks, medicines are the most effective cure. Specific serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) can increase serotonin production and help restore the serotonin level. Such prescribed medicines can help to get instant relief from the painful symptoms of Panic attacks. However, long-term usage of such antidepressant medicines can cause dependency and a few other side effects. Also, remember to consult with your doctor before stopping the medicines.

Healthy lifestyle changes

Specific lifestyle changes such as regular exercising, reducing caffeine consumption, avoiding alcohol and restricting yourself from watching or listening to horror or terrifying stories offer a sustainable relief. Just make sure to remain consistent in this new journey of healthy living.

Deep breathing exercises

Certain deep breathing exercises can calm down your body and mind and offer instant relief from the symptoms of panic attacks. At the same time, practice mindfulness, yoga and meditation regularly. Focus on muscle relaxation techniques to gain some instant relief from stress, fear and anxiety


Dealing with Panic attacks can be extremely challenging and exhausting. However, by choosing some treatments for panic attacks, you can offer yourself a speedy recovery. To understand the treatment approaches, you must gain more insights about the symptoms and causes of panic attacks. Also, do not hesitate to reach out to a mental health professional. Remember, one right move at the right time can reduce the intensity of such severe mental health problems.

Leave a Comment