Wednesday, July 17, 2024

What Does A Mini Panic Attack Feel Like

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Watch For Subtle Signs Of A Heart Attack

What is a Panic Attack?

A heart attack might seem like it came out of nowhere. But in many cases, chest pain due to heart disease, known as angina, appears in the days or weeks before a cardiac event.

You may feel a twinge or some pain in the shoulder or chest but think its something else, says Dr. Miller. The symptoms go away. Then later, the pain gets worse, or you feel a little off. Then the heart attack hits. These early signs can be hard to identify.

Some People May Develop Panic Disorders

For many people, the feelings of panic occur only occasionally during periods of stress or illness. A person who experiences recurring panic attacks is said to have panic disorder, which is a type of anxiety disorder. They generally have recurring and unexpected panic attacks and persistent fears of repeated attacks. 

Can Anxiety Lead To Panic

A person who has panic disorder may experience anxiety that they are going to have a panic attack. The uncertainty about if or when an attack is going to happen can lead to anxiety between attacks.

For a person with panic disorder, anxiety may trigger a panic attack. The fear of having a panic attack can affect the persons behavior and ability to function in daily life.

The APA suggest there may be a biological factor underlying panic disorder, but scientists have not yet identified a specific marker.

  • tightness in the throat and difficulty breathing
  • trembling or shaking
  • feeling faint

Not every case of anxiety will include all these symptoms. Anxiety can be mild, moderate, or severe, depending on the trigger and how the person reacts to it.

Faced with an examination, for example, some people might feel mildly apprehensive, while others may experience all the above symptoms.

Usually, when the hazard or perceived danger passes, symptoms go away.

Anxiety that continues for a long time or that is triggered by specific events may be a sign of another disorder, such as social anxiety disorder.

Anxiety often results from stress or feeling overwhelmed.

Common causes of anxiety include:

  • work pressure
  • the use of some medications
  • a recent or past traumatic experience

Triggers of anxiety could include:

  • public speaking
  • exposure to a phobia trigger
  • a fear of having a panic attack

Sometimes, anxiety can also stem from a psychological disorder.

What Teachers Should Know

Panic disorder is an anxiety disorder in which a person experiences panic attacks. A panic attack is when someone has a sudden, intense physical response with a feeling of unexplained and paralyzing fear.

A panic attack can happen for no apparent reason and the person may have sudden and intense physical symptoms that may last 10 to 20 minutes. The symptoms can include:

  • pounding heart or chest pain
  • shortness of breath
  • dizziness, hot flashes, or chills
  • nausea
  • sweating, shaking, or tingling in fingers or toes
  • feeling like a loss of control, or having a fear of dying or other unrealistic thoughts

Mild worrying in kids and teens is normal. But a panic attack may dramatically affect a student’s life by interrupting normal activities.

Many kids and teens have a single panic attack, which does not require intervention because it doesn’t happen again. But students with panic disorder may:

  • have difficulty concentrating in class or completing classwork
  • miss class time due to problems coping at school, or needing to talk with a school counselor or therapist
  • need to visit the school nurse to take medication for anxiety
  • feel self-conscious or isolated, and avoid places and situations that they think they might cause a panic attack

Why Do I Get Mini Panic Attacks When Falling Asleep

Zine: Tips to help you cope with an Anxiety Attack

So far we have discussed under what circumstances you could experience mini panic attacks and how they can precede a full panic attack, why does this happen?

Think about how many times you have been in that limbo state between being alert and falling asleep. If you suddenly remembered something you forgot to do or something you will need to do eventually but it is not time yet. For instance, you close your eyes for a few seconds and suddenly wake up with your heart about to burst out of your chest and trouble breathing because you think you are late for your flight but you realize it is still early. 

However, as we have mentioned, mini panic attacks are common but they can precede panic attacks which are even scarier and can last between 10 to 30 minutes.  

In contrast, have you ever experienced the sensation of falling? This is another reason why you could get mini panic attacks when falling asleep is due to hypnic jerks. These are muscle sensations that can happen in your arms, legs or your whole body which generates the sensation of falling or not breathing. 

How To Handle A Panic Attack

Professor Paul Salkovskis, Professor of Clinical Psychology and Applied Science at the University of Bath, says it’s important not to let your fear of panic attacks control you.

“Panic attacks always pass and the symptoms are not a sign of anything harmful happening,” he says. “Tell yourself that the symptoms you’re experiencing are caused by anxiety.”

He says don’t look for distractions. “Ride out the attack. Try to keep doing things. If possible, it’s important to try to remain in the situation until the anxiety has subsided.”

“Confront your fear. If you don’t run away from it, you’re giving yourself a chance to discover that nothing’s going to happen.”

As the anxiety begins to pass, start to focus on your surroundings and continue to do what you were doing before.

“If youre having a short, sudden panic attack, it can be helpful to have someone with you, reassuring you that it will pass and the symptoms are nothing to worry about,” says Professor Salkovskis.

Stress Anxiety And Then Panic: Neal’s Story

As Sideman says, his attack occurred in the early 1990s, and few people seriously considered the possibility of a panic attack in a 39-year-old man. So he went home thinking all would be fine, only to have another, more severe attack one week later.

Now, looking back, the situation seems clearer.

I was under a lot of stress  starting a new business, working 16-hour days, a close friend was ill and dying, and on top of all that, I was doing a super heavy workout regimen at the gym with a trainer,” Sideman says. “So it was a lot of physical stress, emotional stress, and a lot of financial stresses.” He says he also can see roots of anxiety in his childhood and teen years as well as in other family members.

In the moment, he didnt know what to think because it can be tough to know what a panic attack is like until you have one. His second panic attack was really a full-blown panic attack, where I thought I was going to die,” Sideman says. “I thought I was going to pass out, not wake up, go crazy, have a heart attack.”

He recalled being terrified, and the response he chose was one that can actually make panic disorder worse: He started to avoid the situations where he had attacks.

What Do Panic Attacks Feel Like

During a panic attack, physical symptoms can build up very quickly. These can include:

  • a pounding or racing heartbeat
  • feeling faint, dizzy or light-headed
  • feeling very hot or very cold
  • sweating, trembling or shaking
  • pain in your chest or abdomen
  • struggling to breathe or feeling like you’re choking
  • feeling like your legs are shaky or are turning to jelly
  • feeling disconnected from your mind, body or surroundings, which are types of dissociation.

During a panic attack you might feel very afraid that you’re:

  • losing control
  • going to die.

How Do You Know Youre Having A Panic Attack

What A Panic Attack Really Feels Like

An anxiety or panic attack often comes on suddenly, with symptoms peaking within 10 minutes. For doctors to diagnose a panic attack, they look for at least four of the following signs: sweating, trembling, shortness of breath, a choking sensation, chest pain, nausea, dizziness, fear of losing your mind, fear of dying, feeling hot or cold, numbness or tingling, a racing heart , and feeling unusually detached from yourself.

How It Feels After A Panic Attack

A more likely possibility is that you had a single panic attack that leaves you feeling generally anxious, tired, and frayed. While panic attacks can be scary, they’re not dangerous. But the fear they may cause you can be more unsettling than the attack itself. That’s especially true if you’ve never had one before. When it’s your first episode, you may think you’re having a stroke or a heart attack.

How do you tell if it’s a panic attack or high anxiety? It’s tricky. It helps to talk to your doctor, but a closer look at your symptoms often can give you some clues.

A true panic attack tends to have clear, intense, physical symptoms — a pounding heart, shortness of breath, and so on.

Anxiety can give you some of these, but they tend to be milder. Instead, you’ll have more mental symptoms like a racing mind, lots of worries you can’t stop, and a hard time focusing. You might also feel restless and have a hard time sleeping.

When You Witness Fist Fights And Accidents

In my experience, witnessing fist fights and accidents make us intensely anxious for a short time period.In fact, some sufferers have told me that they panicked and got depressed just by the sight of a fight. You might have experienced mini panic attacks if you witnessed fearful events. These panic attacks are really powerful. You feel a knot in the throat and a punch in the stomach. Your heart races and pounds. You feel like running away from that scene.

Same is the thing when you witness fatal accidents or mishaps on the roads or almost anywhere. Actually, you never realize that practically there is no need to be scared unless you are having an accident your self.The fear is intense even if it lasts for a short period of time. Sometimes this fear shows up in a split second and goes away in a few seconds.Even if this fear is experienced for a short period of time it often shows long-term impact. You dread such situations more in the future and begin to avoid the situations where you feel the chances of such circumstances are there.

You think that it has happened to somebody else but what if that happens to me. You say that there are chances of that happening to anyone anytime. This thought gives you the worst feeling ever and makes you so miserable that you keep upset for a long time. This is how impacting it is in the real sense.

How does it affect you?

The Causes Of Unexpected Panic Attacks

Expected panic attacks are typically associated with a specific trigger such as crowds, flying or exams, whereas unexpected panic attacks have no apparent trigger and can seem to happen for no reason.

It is not yet known what causes panic attacks but certain factors may play an important role, including genetics, mental health conditionsmajor stress or having a predisposition to stress.

Panic attacks are typically experienced as a result of misinterpreting physical symptoms of anxiety. Heart palpitations may be mistaken for symptoms of a heart attack, breathlessness or feeling faint may be taken as a sign that a person is collapsing or dying, and the racing thoughts can lead a person to think that they are losing control of their mind.

These misinterpretations which a person may be unaware that they are doing can trigger a panic attack, which seems to appear out of the blue.

What Helps To Manage Panic Attacks

Panic Attacks: Signs, Symptoms, and Complications

Panic attacks can be frightening, but there are things you can do to help yourself cope. It could help to print off these tips, or write them down, and keep them somewhere easy to find.

During a panic attack:

  • Focus on your breathing. It can help to concentrate on breathing slowly in and out while counting to five.
  • Stamp on the spot. Some people find this helps control their breathing.
  • Focus on your senses. For example, taste mint-flavoured sweets or gum, or touch or cuddle something soft.
  • Try grounding techniques. Grounding techniques can help you feel more in control. They’re especially useful if you experience dissociation during panic attacks. See our page on self-care for dissociation for more information on grounding techniques.

After a panic attack:

  • Think about self-care. It’s important to pay attention to what your body needs after you’ve had a panic attack. For example, you might need to rest somewhere quietly, or eat or drink something.
  • Tell someone you trust. If you feel able to, it could help to let someone know you’ve had a panic attack. It could be particularly helpful to mention how they might notice if you’re having another one, and how you’d like them to help you.

See our pages on self-care for anxiety and treatments for anxiety for more information on what could help.

When You Are Worried About The Future Events

The worry of future is a common thing for adults and it is actually helpful to some extent. You fall into the trap of worry when you get into the habit of focusing only on worries. This situation is very critical since it is also accompanied by inaction, possibly procrastination and the inability to organize your tasks that increase your tensions and worries.

The future is unpredictable and that thing sits at the core of our unconscious minds. This means that we have the tensions of future happenings or our fate deep-rooted in our minds and that invites these intense but mini panic attacks.

Most anxiety sufferers complain that they have mini panic attacks when they are in the anxious mode of thinking and feeling. If you have experienced the same that anxious mood slowly takes them towards panic attacks. These periods of anxiety remind you of your worst remembrances and the past mistakes and consequently, you feel like undertaking something instantly that promises good results in the future.

In my experience, the worry of future bugs our minds because we do not take the planned actions and do not execute things on time. This terrible feeling invites mini panic attacks and after feeling all that you end up getting nothing for creating a good future. You understand that you just had a period of worry that was of no use.

How does it affect you?

Mini Panic Attacks When Falling Asleep

In this guide, we will discuss Mini panic attacks when falling asleep, what are mini panic attacks, a few scenarios or reasons why you could get mini panic attacks , why you may get mini panic attacks when falling asleep and the difference between having nightmares, nocturnal panic attacks and mini panic attacks at night. 

How I Cope With Panic Attacks From Chronic Anxiety

I have found that one of the most difficult aspects of dealing with chronic anxiety is coping with panic attacks. Even though I’ve learned how to lessen the effects of panic attacks over time, I can still be unexpectedly blindsided by one.

To make matters worse, sometimes I anticipate having a panic attack, which causes — you guessed it — more anxiety. It can sometimes then become a vicious anxiety-inducing cycle. That is why it has become so important for me to be aware of what panic attacks feel like and what I can do about it.

What a Panic Attack Feels Like to Me

When I experience a panic attack, it feels like my body is “slammed” by an onslaught of anxiety symptoms in full force, all at once. I immediately experience a rapid heartbeat; I suddenly have a hard time breathing; I feel light-headed, nauseous, and I begin to tremble. I also feel a tremendous amount of fear, and often there is no logical reason for this. Sometimes, the momentary panic is so intense that I experience tunnel vision and can’t focus. It is truly a terrible feeling that I find not only mentally hard to deal with, but physically hard to deal with as well.

This Is What A Panic Attack Physically Feels Like

What A Panic Attack Feels Like

For the millions of American adults who suffer from anxiety and panic disorders, panic attacks may be one of the most prevalent and persistent symptoms. And while the experience of a panic attack is different for each individual, there is one universal truth for all who suffer from them: They’re terrifying.

“When someone suffers from one of these disorders, it’s completely debilitating,” Todd Farchione, a clinical psychologist at the Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders at Boston University, previously told HuffPost Healthy Living. “Partly just because people recognize that what theyre experiencing is irrational, but they’ve learned to respond in a certain way in those situations so it’s a natural response to those experiences. It can be frightening.”

Perhaps one of the worst parts of panic attacks is the uncertainty of their appearance. They can occur at any time — even in your sleep. The fear-inducing experience peaks around 10 minutes, but the exhausting physical symptoms can extend far beyond that.

In an effort to understand what it’s really like to suffer from these conditions, we invited our and communities to explain what a panic attack physically feel like. We selected a few of their descriptions and illustrated them below:

“Mine are like I can’t stand up, I can’t speak. All I feel is an intense amount of pain all over, like something is just squeezing me into this little ball. If it is really bad I can’t breathe, I start to hyperventilate and I throw up.”

You Can Help Guide Me Through A Panic Attack

The best thing you can do if you see me having a panic attack is to stay calm and talk me through it. When a panic attack strikes, I will feel a combination of overwhelming fear and some of the scary physical symptoms listed above. This is what helps:

  • Deep breathing: I dont need the paper bag, but it helps if you count my breaths with me. Breathing in for four, holding for four, and releasing for four helps slow my heart rate and decrease the physical symptoms I experience.
  • Coping statements: Talking back to my irrational thoughts with assertive coping statements helps me work through the attack. Saying, Im not dying, Im feeling anxious, disrupts the irrational thought process.
  • Distraction: Once Im using my deep breathing, it helps to shift my focus.

Once the panic has passed, I need time to unwind and recover. Taking a walk or simply getting outside can help.

Your loved ones might never truly understand how you feel when you have a panic attack, but educating them helps them better understand what a panic attack is, symptoms to look for, and how they can help you when they see you in distress.

The Calm After The Storm: What It’s Like In The Aftermath Of A Panic Attack

I wish there was a word that captured the feeling of a panic attack. A strict and specific word to encapsulate one of the cruelest feelings I have ever known. It seems like my entire life has been spent searching for that one word that matches my internal definition.

The rush of blood, the fast pace of my heart rate, the moment right before the first tear falls. Some people would use a word like fear or agony to describe this. However, I still dont think those fit. The feeling is something much more than antagonizing dread. It is much more than the feeling of death.

If you have ever experienced a panic attack, then you know what this is like. It is a roller coaster, slowly easing upwards before a huge drop waiting for the inevitable. Except the drop never happens, and you are stuck at the very top with your heart racing and hands shaking. It is only until minutes or hours later, once you can breathe again, once you remember how to stop crying, once you can be thankful that you are alive, that the roller coaster drops and ends.

Unlike a roller coaster, a panic attack doesnt stop once it ends. There is leftover emotion, leftover pain and exhaustion. This is the hardest part for me. My panic attacks come as quickly as they go; only a few minutes that seem like an infinity.

I am fine, though. Dont worry, I promise. Its just a rough patch. Im just stressed. Ill be fine.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via Daviles

You Feel Like You’re Dying And Going Crazy At The Same Time

Cheryl Poldrugach, 53, of Dallas

Courtesy Cheryl Poldrugah

For 30 years, Cheryl Poldrugach hid her panic attacks from her family and friends.

When her anxiety hit, she would tell them she was sick or had the stomach flu. She sometimes missed important events like graduations and holiday celebrations, cancelling at the last minute when an attack left her curled on the bathroom floor.

Poldrugach says her secrecy contributed to her divorce 10 years ago and to rifts with friends and family.

“It was very crippling, she says. You get this cold sweat, yet feel like you’re on fire, and you’re shaking. Your heart is racing out of your chest. You feel like you’re dying and going crazy at the same time, and you’re not sure you can make it through.

It wasn’t until Poldrugach’s teenage daughter had a panic attack at school last year that she finally realized she had to get help and talk to her family about what she was going through.

She started taking anti-anxiety medication, which helped a lot. She also sees a counselor who has helped her learn about healthy ways to cope and get through an attack.

How she copes: Travel makes Poldrugach especially anxious, but it helps her cope to learn as many details as possible in advance. I’ll watch videos showing where we are going, she says.

You’re Frozen You Can’t Move You Think The End Is Coming

Simple New Yorker: How Does A Panic Attack Feel

Corky Klein, 63, Laguna Beach, Calif.

Courtesy Corky Klein

Corky Klein knows she’s about to have an anxiety attack when her whole body breaks out in a sweat.

“I even get sweaty on the balls of my feet, she says.

She gets light-headed, and a little dizzy. Then the headache and the panic hit.

“You forget about everything around you, Klein says. Your heart is beating horribly, and that brings on more panic. You get this scared feeling and you want to run. But you’re frozen. You can’t move. You think the end is coming.”

Klein began having panic attacks after her mom died when she was 16. Over the years, she says her anxiety led her into dark bouts of alcoholism and addiction, into long periods of isolation, and on many trips to the emergency room.

Ten years ago, at age 53, she was still having frequent panic attacks, even though she had kicked her addictions. Concerned, her doctor persuaded her to try therapy, and she began seeing a cognitive behavior therapist who specialized in anxiety.

The therapist helped her process the trauma in her past and taught her how to cope with her anxiety before it escalated.

“I learned that I had never dealt with the stuff that had happened to me, Klein says.

Her panic attacks became less frequent, and she focused on exercising, enjoying her retirement and spending time with her son and other family members.

How she copes: She exercises every day , and she uses an app called Calm for meditation and deep-breathing exercises.

Why Is This Blog About Mini Panic Attacks When Falling Asleep Is Important

As we discussed, mini panic attacks when falling asleep are not dangerous and only last a few seconds. Remember they are situational and if you analyze them, you will potentially find the triggers. It is important to determine whether you are experiencing mini panic attacks, nightmares or nocturnal panic attacks based on the triggers and time each episode lasts. 

Dealing with anxiety and stress during the day could help you manage it better during the night. If you determine you are suffering from any of the conditions we have mentioned, make sure to set up an appointment with your doctor to further assess the situation. 

Please feel free to leave any comments or thoughts about the content of this article!

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