How Long Does A Panic Attack Last?

Panic attacks typically last for less than 20 minutes. They start suddenly, sometimes for no obvious reason, sometimes in response to a stressful event, and sometimes as a result of exposure to a situation that has triggered previous panic attacks.

Sudden onset of extreme anxiety, pounding heart, dizzyness, trouble breathing, apprehension, and a sense of doom or lack of ability to escape are signs of a panic attack. Peak anxiety usually occurs around 10 minutes after the start of the attack. However, in some rare cases a panic attack can go on for hours.

Following a panic attack a person often feels exhausted, relieved but depressed, irritable and worried.

If you are wondering "How long does a panic attack last?" because you think you might actually be having a panic attack there are some things you can do.

  1. Check your symptoms to see if you may be having a panic attack.
  2. Seek medical help if you have never spoken to your doctor before about these symptoms. You may be experiencing a panic attack or there may be another medical reason for your symptoms that should be treated.
  3. If you have already discussed your symptoms with a doctor and you know you have panic attack disorder, begin to help yourself relax. Don't worry too much about how long this panic attack will last for. Acknowledge the symptoms, don't fight them, let them flow through you. They will pass.
  4. Of course, if you feel concerned about how long this panic attack is lasting, it is always appropriate to go seek medical help.
  5. If you haven't yet sought treatment for panic disorder, please get help. This is a very treatable condition, but it is one that most people need to get help for. It rarely just goes away on it's own. Treatment usually consists of psychotherapy, lifestyle changes and in some cases medication.

To recap, the simple answer to the question "How long does a panic attack last?" is that they are generally over in less than 20 minutes. The bigger issue for you if you are asking this question may be to get help diagnosing or managing your condition.

I encourage you to seek help if you are experiencing panic attacks. This condition gets worse with time in most people, but can be treated successfully. Sometimes it's hard to accept that we have a problem, but actually that's the first step in getting better!

Go to How To Prevent Panic Attack From Getting Worse

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