Symptoms of anxiety attack

Anxiety attacks may happen in different situations, but often they occur in public transport, in enclosed space or in public places. In most cases there is no apparent reason for their occurrence, respectively, there can be no danger neither to the patient’s health or his life.

It should be noted that symptoms of anxiety attack may also be the symptom of another diseases – depressive disorders and phobias, heart disease, etc. In addition, anxiety attacks may be provoked by some medicine. To determine the severity of anxiety attacks, experts use the severity rating scales, questionnaires and tests.

Anxiety attacks can be divided into three types based on their manifestations:

  • Unexpected anxiety attack appears suddenly, without any predisposing cause.
  • Situationally bounded anxiety attacks can arise on a background of a specific traumatic event, or while expecting for this event.
  • Situationally predisposed anxiety attack. Most often, these attacks occur under the effects of a chemical or biological “activator”. In particular, it may be alcohol, changes in endocrine profile, etc.

Symptoms of anxiety attack

Based on related clinical manifestations, anxiety attacks can run in a typical or atypical form.

Typical anxiety attack. Mostly this type of anxiety attacks is accompanied with cardiovascular symptoms. It is notable that due to the characteristic manifestations an anxious person often calls an ambulance. This is not surprising, since the symptoms may include heart arrhythmia, pronounced tachycardia, chest pain of varied intensity – all of this may suggest the idea of serious heart disease to a patient. Hence they begin to fear of a gradual development of the hypertensive crisis, as well as its inherent complications, so they are constantly measuring blood pressure. Another complaint is a feeling of suffocation. Among the typical symptoms of anxiety attack there are fear (especially the fear of death), nausea, fever /chills, dizziness.

Atypical anxiety attack develops in a case of: aural/vision disorders, gait disturbance, muscle cramps, vomiting, loss of consciousness, “lump in the throat.” The end of attack often culminates in excessive urination.

Anxiety attack is characterized by progression to a peak of its symptoms in a short time, and this is the main feature allowing distinguishing such attacks from other somatic diseases. In this case, attacks always occur suddenly.

If we consider the period of time between attacks, we can see that it is significantly different in many patients, ranging from a few days /months to several years. In general, this period is characterized by a gradual development of depression that occurs as a result of the constant thoughts about the possibility of such attacks and fear of a serious physical illness, etc.

Recurrence of the anxiety attacks initiates a restrictive behavior in which the patient begins to avoid potentially dangerous situations or places that can provoke the development of attack. Due to such anxiety manifestations patient may develop agoraphobia and social isolation. Patient may find it difficult to leave his home or, on the contrary, may have severe fears of being alone.

The appearance of symptoms of anxiety attack requires, above all, a consultation with a psychotherapist. Additionally, do not neglect to visit other specialists: therapist, neurologist and cardiologist.