How to Identify Panic Attacks: Understanding Your Body Signs

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How to Identify Panic Attacks: Understanding Your Body Signs

Panic attacks are sudden and intense episodes of fear that can cause physical symptoms such as a racing heart, shortness of breath, and dizziness. They can be very frightening, and it can be challenging to know what is happening.

If you think you may be having a panic attack, there are a few things you can do to identify it:

  • Pay attention to your physical symptoms. What are you feeling in your body? Are you having a racing heart, shortness of breath, dizziness, or other physical symptoms?
  • Think about your thoughts and feelings. What are you thinking and feeling? Are you feeling scared, anxious, or out of control?
  • Consider the context: Where are you when you're feeling these symptoms? Are you in a situation that you typically find stressful or anxiety-provoking?


Panic attacks can be overwhelming and distressing experiences that affect people worldwide. They are characterized by fear or anxiety accompanied by a range of physical and emotional symptoms. Being able to recognize the signs of a panic attack is crucial in order to seek appropriate support and learn effective coping strategies.

Some common body signs of a panic attack are as follows:

  • Rapid Heartbeat and Chest Discomfort: During a panic attack, you may experience a racing or pounding heart, also known as palpitations. This can be accompanied by chest discomfort or tightness, which may resemble the symptoms of a heart attack.
  • Shortness of Breath: You may find it hard to catch your breath or experience a sensation of being smothered characterized by rapid and shallow breathing, which can further exacerbate these symptoms and lead to lightheadedness or dizziness.
  • Sweating, Trembling, and Shaking: Panic attacks often trigger physical manifestations such as excessive sweating, trembling, or shaking. You may notice your palms becoming clammy or feel your entire body trembling uncontrollably.
  • Feeling Detached or Unreal: Many individuals experiencing a panic attack report feeling detached from reality or experiencing a sense of unreality. This feeling is often described as if you're watching yourself from outside your body or living in a dream-like state. It can contribute to a sense of fear and confusion during the episode.
  • Nausea, Upset Stomach, or Digestive Issues: Digestive symptoms are also common during panic attacks. You may experience nausea, an upset stomach, or even abdominal pain.
  • Tingling Sensations or Numbness: Some people may experience tingling sensations or numbness in their hands, fingers, feet, or toes.
  • Overwhelming Feeling of Fear of Loss of Control: Panic attacks often evoke a profound fear of losing control or going crazy. You may worry about embarrassing yourself, having a public meltdown, or being unable to handle the situation. These fears can intensify the overall distress and anxiety experienced during an attack.


If you experience any of these symptoms, it's important to stay calm and try to breathe slowly and deeply. You can also try to distract yourself by focusing on something else, such as counting backward from 100 or repeating a mantra. If you recognize these symptoms in yourself or someone else, it's vital to seek professional help from a healthcare provider or mental health specialist. Remember, early intervention and appropriate treatment can significantly improve the quality of life for individuals experiencing panic attacks.

At Solh Wellness, we offer a range of self-help tools and access to experienced professionals who can assist you in effectively dealing with and managing panic attacks. Our platform provides various resources and expert guidance to support your journey toward better mental well-being. We understand the challenges of panic attacks and are dedicated to providing the necessary tools and expert assistance to help you navigate them successfully.