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By Katie Bailey, MA, LPC

Some people use the phrase “panic attack” to indicate an overwhelming moment in their day. For example, I once heard someone who lost her phone say “I had a panic attack!” In this case, she didn’t experience a true panic attack, she is simply indicating she was really nervous and scared when she lost her phone.

A real panic attack almost always has no reason to start. Randomly you feel an overwhelming sense of fear or dread. Other symptoms may include:

  • Heart racing
  • Chills or hot flashes
  • Tingling feelings in the body
  • Fear of dying
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling of choking or throat closing
  • Chest pains
  • Feeling unreal or detached from yourself
  • Lightheaded or faint

Typically, panic attacks last about 10-20 minutes, but they could last longer. Often times people who have had a panic attack live in fear of having another one, only fueling the anxiety cycle.

If you are experiencing panic attacks, there is hope. You don’t have to keep living with panic attacks. As a therapist who provides anxiety counseling, I have helped many people manage their anxiety and panic attacks. There are many ways to help alleviate the panic cycle. In fact, I’ve partnered with Headspace to give all my clients 25% off an annual subscription to the meditation app. There are other techniques we can use to help as well. Please contact me to set up an appointment and let’s make a plan to bring some peace back into your world.