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What Is An Anxiety Attack

By Mosh
Treat Mental Health
9 min read
Medically reviewed by:

Key Takeaways

Everyone experiences various levels of anxiety throughout their life, however, for some their anxiety can be debilitating and manifest in anxiety attacks. Anxiety attacks  are moments of intense fear, panic, or discomfort that comes without warning and without any apparent cause, with physical symptoms including chest pains, shortness of breath, dizziness, sweating and shaking. If you believe you, or someone you know is experiencing anxiety attacks, it is advisable to consult with a  mental health professional to receive proper advice and treatment depending on your specific situation.

Anxiety is a normal part of life. When we are anxious, our hearts beat faster, and we feel tense, which helps prepare us to defend ourselves if we need to. It is also an essential part of our natural fight-or-flight response. But sometimes, feelings of anxiety become too much for people to handle.[1] When that happens, one may wonder, ‘What is an anxiety attack?’ or if they may have an anxiety disorder.

When someone has an anxiety disorder, they feel anxious even when there is nothing to be afraid of. It can be hard for them to relax and enjoy life. Some people with anxiety disorders even avoid things that most people enjoy, like going out with friends or trying new activities.

An anxiety attack is a moment of intense fear, panic, or discomfort that comes without warning and without any apparent cause.[2] They can happen at any time, even if you are doing something you love or are surrounded by people who love you.

Anxiety attacks are typically characterised by chest pains, shortness of breath, dizziness, sweating and shaking.[3]

Our doctors at Mosh specialise in helping men and women all over the country deal with numerous mental health issues and even issues managing one’s anxiety. If necessary, they are generally treated with therapy and medication. However, some cases merely need changes in lifestyle through coaching solutions.

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What does an anxiety attack feel like?

Anxiety attacks are described as if you are experiencing a heart attack or as if you are gasping for air.[4] The chest tightens, there is a feeling of pressure in the chest and throat, you feel like you can not breathe, and sometimes even a pain in the chest.

But for some people, anxiety attacks feel more like an impending sense of doom – like something bad is about to happen. It is not just about physical symptoms – it is also an emotional sensation that can be very scary if you do not know what is an anxiety attack or how to deal with it.

You may also feel like you are going crazy when you have an anxiety attack, especially if you do not know what is an anxiety attack. You might think you have a heart attack (if you experience chest pain) or that your mind will explode if you do not find some way to calm down immediately.

The physical symptoms of a panic attack can be downright scary, but there are ways to help prevent or lessen the symptoms. If you are prone to experiencing panic attacks, knowing what causes them can keep you from panicking in the first place.

The good news is that there are plenty of things you can do to help prevent this kind of reaction. The key is to learn how your body reacts and what factors trigger your anxiety so you can avoid them in the future.[5]

If you need more help regarding how to manage an anxiety attack or more about what is an anxiety attack, feel free to get in touch with us at Mosh. Just fill up a quick questionnaire on our website for one of our doctors to review. Based on your answers, your doctor will recommend a personalised treatment if necessary.

After you receive your doctor’s response, you may get in touch with them over text, call, or video chat. During your consultation, you may ask anything you would like regarding your situation or even ask for advice about how to lose weight quickly or how to get rid of back fat.

What usually triggers an anxiety attack?

Because everyone is different, everyone has different triggers for a panic attack, so there is no one answer if you are wondering what causes panic attacks. There are some common ones, though. Some triggers happen because you are over-breathing – if you feel like you are not getting enough air, your body could react in a panic as if it is lacking oxygen.[6]

Other triggers are long periods of stress or anxiety that build up until they become an attack. The body is pretty good at handling stress, but when the stress gets too much, it can cause physical reactions that lead to what is an anxiety attack.

The most common trigger is physical changes after illness or a sudden change of environment – for example, moving to a new place and needing time to adjust. These kinds of changes often involve lots of new things to deal with at once and can be very stressful, which means your body may be more prone to panic attacks during this adjustment period.[7]

If you are worried that you may be experiencing frequent anxiety attacks or panic attacks, let your Mosh doctor know. With this knowledge, they could help recommend the best course of action for you. It could be therapy, medication, or even lifestyle and diet changes.

What are the signs before an anxiety attack happens?

Anxiety attacks are known to come with a long list of symptoms, some of which can be frightening. However, it is important to note that not all the different types of anxiety attack symptoms are damaging or dangerous. They may include:

  • shortness of breath
  • sweating
  • shaking
  • feeling like you are choking
  • feeling like you are having a heart attack
  • nausea and butterflies or pains in the stomach
  • racing heart
  • dizziness, lightheadedness or faintness
  • tingling or numbness[8]

It is common to wonder what is an anxiety attack symptom and what is a symptom of something else. For example, it is pretty common to confuse an anxiety attack with other issues, as symptoms could overlap. As mentioned earlier, it is common to confuse severe anxiety attacks with heart attacks.

Learn more about anxiety with Mosh

Mosh doctors will help you learn how to manage your symptoms so that they do not interfere with your daily life. After all, there is no reason for your anxiety to get in the way of it, and there is no reason for you to ask, ‘What is an anxiety attack?’ or ‘What does anxiety feel like?’ every day.

Join tens and thousands of people as they put their trust in Mosh doctors for issues such as how to deal with depression, how to lose body fat, and how to deal with stress.

Contact us today.

7 References


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