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Health StudiesHow To Stop Your Panic Attacks

How To Stop Your Panic Attacks

A panic attack is a sudden feeling of intense fear or disabling anxiety. It can result in such acute distress that a person fears they are losing control or dying.

Knowing how to prevent feelings of panic from spiraling out of control is an important skill for people who experience panic symptoms.

Conditions such as stress and anxiety can lead to panic attacks. Heart conditions and blood disorders such as anemia can cause similar symptoms.

The intensity of the attack typically peaks at around 10 minutes, but symptoms can persist beyond that. A panic attack usually occurs without warning and may be unrelated to any real danger or apparent cause. They may even wake a person from a sound sleep.

An estimated 1 in 10 people in the United States (U.S.) experience occasional panic attacks.

Twice as many women have panic attacks than men.

Fast facts on panic attacks

  • Panic attacks are an overreaction by the amygdala, or the fear center of the brain
  • Symptoms include a racing heart, sweating, difficulty catching breath, and a feeling of impending death or doom.
  • Twice as many women than men experience panic attacks.
  • Preparing calm breathing techniques and mindfulness strategies can help to keep panic attacks at bay.


To stop a panic attack, a person first needs to recognize the symptoms and warning signs.

A panic attack will lead to at least four of the symptoms below:

  • a pounding, racing heart
  • sweating
  • shaking
  • shortness of breath
  • choking sensation
  • chest discomfort
  • nausea
  • dizzy, feeling faint
  • feelings of unreality or detachment
  • tingling or numbness
  • chills or heat sensations
  • fear of losing sanity
  • fear of dying

Although panic attacks can be terrifying for an individual, they typically last between 10 and 20 minutes and are not life-threatening.


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