12 Panic Attack Symptoms That Aren't Just A Pounding Heart
Start writing a post
Health and Wellness

12 Panic Attack Symptoms That Aren't Just A Pounding Heart

Depersonalization can be absolutely terrifying.

110
https://www.maxpixel.net/static/photo/2x/Worry-Angst-Fear-Anguish-Anxiety-Apprehension-802639.jpg
Max Pixel

Panic attacks feel different for every person; no two people will experience an attack exactly the same way even if they both feel the same symptoms. Some people outwardly express their panic while others space out and draw into themselves. Either way, panic attacks are much more than just a pounding heart (even though that is a common part of them). People experiencing panic attacks will often feel like they are dying or having a heart attack--it can be an out of body experience for some people.

1. Feeling like you want to crawl out of your own skin

It's like being locked in a room with no doors or windows--no way out. You just want to escape from the terrible panic that is encompassing your entire body, but you have no way to do so. It feels like you have completely lost your mind and you just want to rip your skin off to be free of the panic.

2. Intolerance to repetitive or loud noises

Panic attacks very often come hand in hand with sensory overload. Any loud noises can feel like someone is taking a jackhammer to your brain and when you are already in the middle of a panic episode, that can be the last straw. This is why people will often lash out and get angry if they are panicking and there are too many people talking or people are talking too loudly.

3. Tunnel vision

Tunnel vision varies based on the person, but essentially it is like you've lost all of your peripheral vision and can now only see what is right in front of you. Your vision becomes blurred and this can lead to a sense of derealization and increase someone's panic particularly if they have never experienced this symptom before.

4. Paranoia

Panic attacks can make people very jumpy--adrenaline is coursing through the person at unnatural rates and this causes a fight or flight instinct. Things such as sudden movements or surprises can make someone experiencing a panic attack even more nervous as they are overly cautious of their surroundings at that moment. Paranoia can also refer to the feeling of never knowing when another panic attack might occur so that person is constantly on edge just waiting for another one to strike.

5. Sensitivity to anything touching you

Heat, cold, human touch, certain fabrics--all of these things can become strikingly different when you are experiencing a panic attack. For some people, a drastic change in temperature can almost "shock" the panic out of their system (personally if I take a freezing cold shower, it will pull me mostly out of an episode). However, this also goes for someone even just placing their hand on your shoulder; to someone suffering from a panic attack, that small gesture could be completely overwhelming.

6. Fidgeting 

Some people cannot sit still when they are experiencing a panic attack; this ranges from constantly drumming one's fingers on a desk to excessive pacing. This ties back into the feeling of wanting to jump out of your own skin; moving for some reason helps relieve some of the panic at times because when you sit still it can feel like it's just festering.

7. Excessive Sweating

Nerves can make anyone feel warmer or become sweatier, so imagine a panic attack where you essentially just become a ball of nervousness. Not a pretty picture to paint and it does not feel great either.

8. Nausea and vomiting

Nausea is a big one when it comes to panic attacks and anxiety in general; particularly with those who also experience tremors. The adrenaline coursing through one's body can just overwhelm someone completely to the point where their body just expels whatever is in it. This is common with people who experience severe tremors because not only are they experiencing a mental toll, but the shaking movement of the tremors is extremely taxing on the body and can cause an upset stomach.

9. Feeling like your legs are gone or like you are floating

This is a big one with me personally. It almost feels like someone took your legs and replaced them with marshmallows; there is something there, but it is not remotely as sturdy as legs normally are.

10. Severe shaking and tremors

This can honestly be one of the worst parts because you cannot stop the shaking--it's an involuntary reaction by your body. Sometimes attempting to keep yourself from shaking can actually make your anxiety feel worse because you're tightening muscles that are already severely wound up. This is a symptom that can also make you feel somewhat nauseous from the movement of it.

11. Hysterical crying

This one is pretty self explanatory, but basically it is like all your emotions bubbling over in the form of tears. People cry for many reasons when experiencing a panic attack; ranging from anything such as fear to guilt to disappointment in themselves (even though they have no reason to feel bad about themselves because they have no control over it).

12. Depersonalization

This is when for some people they have what feels like an out of body experience; you feel like you are watching yourself and that what is happening to you is actually happening to someone else. This can be one of the scariest parts of a panic attack.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

Nothing! There is no reason to feel guilty about food and nourishing your body. It's time to make peace with food and stop focusing on the "good" or "bad," "right" or "wrong" because food does not have power over you.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Sat Down With An Endocrinologist To Ask All My Questions About Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

There are so many moving parts of hormonal health, so I went to an expert.

1451
Anjanette Tan

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is an autoimmune disease that impacts approximately 1 in 10 women. Any woman who has PCOS can attest to the fact that no two cases are the same — there are so many aspects of hormonal health that can impact a woman's reproductive health! For many, PCOS is a trial and error condition, with many doctors' appointments depending on the stage of life the woman is in.

This week I sat down with Dr. Anjanette Tan to get the expert opinion on all my PCOS questions. Dr. Tan is a board-certified endocrinology who's worked in private practices since 2004. She currently works at the Diabetes and Thyroid Center of Fort Worth, one of the largest all-endocrine practices in the area, where she is the managing partner and head of clinical research.

Keep Reading... Show less

- Since I can remember, I've always been a light sleeper, with the quietest sounds waking me up, and I regularly wake up with the sun.

- While talking to a gynecologist friend of mine, she mentioned the importance of using an eye mask for quality sleep, which regulates hormonal levels.

- I was serendipitously sent the Crane & Canopy Silk Sleep Mask almost right after that conversation and was honestly reluctant to try it after testing other sleep masks that felt uncomfortable and irritated my skin.

- This sleep mask was extremely comfortable, and for the first time in nearly a decade, I slept in far past when I usually do on the weekends and woke up feeling more refreshed than I can remember — I've worn it nearly every night since then.

The older I get, it seems that sleep becomes an increasingly important topic of conversation amongst my friends and me. Yes, of course we complain about how tired we always are, but the pattern seemed to be a lack of sleep on the weekdays followed by late nights and sleeping in on the weekends without any solution.

Keep Reading... Show less

As college students, sometimes life can be overwhelming. Four tests in a week and you only passed one of them? I feel that. Days like that, you just need time for yourself. A time where you're nice to yourself and put your own self-care before anything else.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

The Smile Project Just Launched An Ambassador Program, And I Can't Wait To Get Started

Looking to shift your perspective, be happier, or just get involved in something truly amazing? Look no further.

275

The Smile Project is a nonprofit organization devoted to spreading happiness, founded by Elizabeth Buechele. It all started on a random day in the fall of her senior year. She was driving home from school when this thought crossed her mind: "Day 1: Happiness is…those perfect car rides where the radio just plays all the right songs."

Keep Reading... Show less

I'll never forget the day that someone told me these words: "Madison, I think you're a good friend to everyone but yourself." I stood there completely in awe of that statement. Before that day, I never really thought about being a friend to myself, and at the time, I didn't really know what it meant. Now, I realize that you can't fully be there for other people unless you're there for yourself, too. You can't show up for others until you're willing to show up for yourself.

Here are five things everyone should learn in order to be a better friend to themselves. These steps are hard, but they're so worth it.

Keep Reading... Show less

It's no secret that social media can be harmful to our mental health. The barrage of heavily edited photos of Instagram models that we see every day only fuels our insecurities. There is a good side to social media, though. It allows us to keep up with friends and family across the globe. Plus, it provides a platform for mental health experts. Listed below are five therapists on Instagram who will fill your feed with motivational quotes and positive infographics.

Keep Reading... Show less
Netflix

Last week, Netflix released its original film "The Devil All the Time," based on the 2011 novel of the same name. Directed by Antonio Campos, the film boasts an all-star cast including Bill Skarsgard, Robert Pattinson, Riley Keough, and Tom Holland.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

In Honor of PCOS Awareness Month, I Researched 25 Things About The Autoimmune Disease

Ongoing research is further promoting the fact that engaging in a proper diet and exercise regimen can alleviate many symptoms!

789

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a common endocrine disorder that affects young women, especially those of reproductive age. Women with PCOS often exhibit symptoms ranging from increased levels of the male hormone androgen along with cysts in their ovaries. However, ongoing research is further promoting the fact that engaging in a proper diet and exercise regimen can alleviate many symptoms! Here are 25 things I found out about PCOS.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

To The Boy Who Said I Was 'Unlovable' Because Of My Back Rolls, My Body Is NOT A Problem

I realized I need to stop blaming myself for staying single. The problem wasn't me. It was you.

261
Photo by Artem Kovalev on Unsplash

I told you I was going to be okay if you said what was on your mind, but honestly, nothing could've prepared me for the words that came out of your mouth. After getting off of the phone with you, I burst into tears. Those words shattered my heart and continuously repeated in my head.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments