A panic attack is typically characterized as a sudden and overwhelming rush of fear and anxiety. You can't breathe and your heart pounds against your chest. You feel nauseated and dizzy. And you may think you're having a heart attack - or worse. These paralyzing feelings generate stress levels that can severely damage the mind and body.

People who suffer from panic attacks that don't attempt to get help, often tend to withdraw from society and normal activities. In the interest of avoiding stressful situations, they shy away from any type of conflict, and live hobbled lives.

Panic attacks sometimes occur without warning. Many times, there is no identifiable cause or reason for the onset of the attack. You can even experience a panic attack while you sleep.

A panic attack occurrence may be a one time event. However, many people suffer from recurring attacks of panic or anxiety. These are typically tied to a specific situation or trigger such as boarding an airplane, preparing for a public speech, or a conflict with your boss. These are situations in which many people experience feelings of danger and the inability to escape.

And unlike more pervasive mental disorders, many people who experience panic attacks are otherwise perfectly normal and happy. In these people, there is a specific trigger event that generates the severe reaction typified by a panic or anxiety attack.

Panic attacks can occur anywhere at anytime, but they do tend to occur away from home in situations and surroundings that are less comfortable and pose more fear of the unknown. The symptoms of a panic attack can develop quickly. The common signs usually peak within about 10 minutes, with the total time of an attack eating up anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour.

A severe attack of panic or anxiety will include one or more of the following signs:

* Choking feeling
* Nausea and cold sweats
* Dizziness or outright fainting
* Feelings of being detached from the situation, powerless to intervene
* Chest pain or discomfort
* Rapid heart rate
* Cold or hot flashes
* Debilitating fear of losing control

But panic attacks are treatable. The key is to get to the root of the issues that generate the feelings of stress and anxiety. With the appropriate help, you can learn to better deal with stress and live a healthy and fulfilling life. Click to learn more about effective panic attacks help, including information about a leading panic and stress attack self help program.

Author's Bio: 

J.D. Bell is a longtime fitness and nutrition specialist who enjoys debunking supplement myths and providing real information around living the over thirty lifestyle at his blog: It Takes Work