How To Identify And Manage Panic Attacks


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As we evolved, human beings developed an instinct for sensing when danger is iminent. This brought about what is called “fight or flight" - the instinct to either fight for survival or to run away from the danger.

The fight or flight instinct is still with us today, but for some people it can become more serious in the form of panic attacks. A panic attack occurs when our bodies are not able to get rid of the excess adrenaline because of our response to danger.

Some fear or anxiety is normal - everybody will experience it at some time or another. When it escalates into a panic attack, however, it can become overwhelming and often uncontrollable.

There is often no logical reason for the feeling of panic, and an attack can occur even if there is no immediate danger. This can cause people to fear their next attack, which simply makes the situation worse, resulting in a vicious circle.

Symptoms of a panic attack may include the following:

  • Headaches
  • Chest pains
  • Stomach pains and nausea
  • Accelerated heartbeat
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Shaking
  • Excessive perspiration
  • Hot flashes
  • Sudden Chills
  • A tingling sensation in your fingers and toes (aka pins & needles)

If you exhibit any of these symptoms and are concerned that you may be suffering from panic or anxiety problems, the best course of action is to visit your doctor.

They can do a thorough diagnosis to determine if it is in fact caused by panic or anxiety, and if so they will be able to recommend the best treatment program based on your particular situation.

Shane Baxter writes about anxiety problems such as generalized anxiety disorder for the Anxiety Action website. For more helpful information, visit


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