Can A Panic Attack Last For Hours? What Should I Do?

Submitted by: Syed Hus

Panic attacks disorder is a condition where people sometimes feel extremely fearful without any valid reason. The panic attack may come all of a sudden even if there is no real danger lurking nearby.

A person who experiences panic attack may fear another such attack and may start avoiding places or situations in which the first attack occurred. People may get panic attacks only occasionally and some may have more frequent attacks.

Also the time duration of these attacks may differ widely. For some people, the attack may just last a few seconds while for others it might last for an hour or more.

In most cases, the attacks last for a few minutes. However the shock and nervousness that people feel may continue for a much longer time even when the attack is over. Sometimes the after effects of it may stretch for a couple of days or more.

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The usual symptoms are extreme fear, sweating, pounding of heart, shortness of breath, nausea, dizziness, feel as if you are dying or having a heart attack. Since most people experience such things moderately some time or the other, it is difficult to diagnose whether you actually had a panic attack or not.

Many of the above symptoms might also be caused due to other factors like stress, weakness, some illness, disease, medications etc. So you have to consult your doctor before you conclude that you are facing a panic disorder. Your doctor may also take some time before reaching a final conclusion.

Typically people face atleast 2 or more panic attacks without any valid reason before it can be successfully concluded after thorough diagnosis that the patient indeed is suffering from panic disorder.

If you are wondering – can a panic attack last for hours – then the answer is that usually it doesn’t last for so long. However some of the feelings will stay with you for hours after the attack which might make you think that you are still experiencing the panic fit.

If it is your first attack and you had no clue what was happening, then chances are that you got worried and hence the attack seemed to carry on for longer duration. Once people get a few such attacks and they try to learn and implements steps to minimize such attacks, then they will be better equipped to handle it when it occurs. In such cases, the panic fit may last for a shorter time.

It is best to consult a qualified doctor as you may need immediate attention. It is not advisable to delay or neglect consulting a doctor.

What you have to first rule out is whether there is some other health problem or is it really a panic problem. Secondly you have to follow some plan or program which may help in overcoming this problem.

The important thing is to start doing something at the earliest to get rid of the problem and keep following the treatment method till you get noticeable results.

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