Many people who suffer from panic attacks and other anxiety disorders are usually intellectually honest enough to admit that the fear or anxiety is irrational. This isn't surprising as many of us can logically work through a behavior, admit that it's not good for us but still continue to do that behavior.
Unlike many anxiety disorders, a panic attack seems to come on without provocation. That is, it appears not to be associated with any specific event or situation and also is characterized by physical symptoms.
You may have experienced a lot of these symptoms. If you enjoy watching a good suspense or horror movie. The tightness in your chest, difficulty breathing and the general feelings of suspense could all be considered part of panic. Panic attacks are very similar to an adrenaline rush that prepares your body for a fight or flight response. Your heart starts pounding, which increases the blood flow to your muscles, your feet and hands may start feeling numb, shaking her trembling, faster breathing delivers more oxygen into your lungs and there's a general feeling of dread.
Other symptoms such as dizziness and choking can be physical responses to the increase in hormonal levels. Being flushed and feeling your heart pounding is normal when your heart is working harder.
Recognize that depending on the situation, these symptoms are quite normal. If you are in a serious or life-threatening situation, your body naturally kicks in, hormones such as adrenaline and epinephrine to prepare you for physical action that may be needed for your survival. These hormones can prepare you to either fight off or work through a dangerous situation or run from it.
The differences between a panic attack and the feelings you may have watching a suspenseful movie is one of severity and control. While at the movie theater if things become too intense, you simply close your eyes and look away and continue to stay in control. A person suffering a panic attack however, cannot control the severity of the feelings are physical symptoms.
To make matters even more complex, a panic attack can come on at any time and in any place. Imagine walking down to check your mail in getting this overwhelming sense of dread coupled with a very intense physical symptoms and there's nothing you can do about it. This is the life of someone suffering with panic.
The good news is that panic attacks are seldom dangerous. It is important however that you obtain an accurate diagnosis of panic attacks, because the symptoms are very similar to several very deadly illnesses. This makes it critical that anyone suffering with panic be examined by a qualified medical professional to obtain an accurate diagnosis and eliminate possible physical reasons for the symptoms.