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Anxiety Attack Symptoms

By Darlene Zagata ; Updated July 27, 2017

The symptoms of an anxiety attack can be terrifying. People who suffer from severe anxiety live in fear of their next attack. Anxiety can affect all areas of a person’s life. In fact, it can keep her from living her life to the fullest.


An anxiety attack comes on without warning. In some cases, there may be a trigger that prompts the anxiety attack. For example, a social situation or public speaking event may cause anxiety in someone who suffers from social phobia. It is not always necessary for an attack to be triggered by an event or situation. At times, an anxiety attack may occur when the person seems to be calm and relaxed.


There are several physical symptoms associated with anxiety attacks. Symptoms and their severity may vary according to the individual. Each attack may be different, with symptoms being less or more severe. Listed below are the symptoms associated with anxiety attacks. Dizziness Rapid heartbeat Flushed feeling Difficulty breathing Fatigue Sweating Nausea Stomach cramps Feeling of dread Heart palpitations Trembling Hyperventilation Headache Chest pain


When a person experiences a sudden anxiety attack for the first time, she may feel as if she is dying. People often associate such an episode with a heart attack. Although a person may be in perfect health, the physical symptoms of an anxiety attack are very intense. After an initial attack, the person may feel that there is something wrong with her, such as heart disease.


Living with anxiety can be difficult. The constant worry about having another attack may inadvertently bring on an anxiety attack. The person who suffers from such attacks often experiences an increased sense of pressure and stress. She may avoid certain places, people or situations. People often avoid the initial place or circumstances where the first anxiety attack occurred. Those who suffer from severe anxiety may avoid work or school, which can cause added stress and difficulties at home.


Anxiety attacks can be controlled through medication, stress reduction and behavioral therapy. Medication can be beneficial in getting the anxiety attacks under control especially if the attacks are severe and occur frequently. Medication will relieve the physical symptoms. Behavioral therapy is useful in helping the anxiety sufferer face his fears and learn to re-create his thought patterns in a more positive manner. Therapy can also help with stress reduction. Meditation and breathing techniques help lessen the severity of physical symptoms when an anxiety attack occurs.

Expert Insight

People who suffer from anxiety may feel as if they are alone. They may feel alienated or as though they are unusual. They are not alone. According to information at AnxietyPanic.com, 6.8 million people are affected by generalized anxiety disorder, and many more are affected by other anxiety-related disorders. Joining a support group for anxiety sufferers can help a person realize that he is not alone or abnormal.

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