You feel so afraid that you believe you might be dying. This is what it feels like to have a panic attack. Also referred to as anxiety attacks, panic attacks are sudden episodes of intense fear that trigger physical reactions, such as rapid breathing and heart rate. Even if there’s no real danger or nothing that would normally cause fear, people may still experience panic attacks severe enough to make them believe that they’re dying. While coping with these attacks is rough, recovering after a panic attack can be even more difficult. Keep reading to learn more about what a panic attack hangover is and dealing with the after-effects of panic attacks.
When you experience a panic attack, your body’s fight or flight response is triggered, causing intense physical symptoms. Normally when you encounter a threat, your nervous system activates. The hormone adrenaline shoots into your bloodstream, putting your body on high alert. Your heartbeat quickens, supplying your muscles with more blood.
Then, your breathing becomes faster and more shallow, allowing you to take in more oxygen. Your blood sugar spikes and your senses get sharper, so you remain alert. All of these changes can happen from one moment to the next, all with the purpose of equipping you to protect yourself from the said threat.
Some other symptoms of a panic attack include:
If these symptoms happen so quickly, then how long do panic attacks last? Although it varies from person to person, panic attacks usually last around 20 to 30 minutes, with symptoms peaking after about 10 minutes. Usually, after 20 to 30 minutes, the majority of symptoms subside.
It’s important to point out that panic attacks are common indicators of an anxiety disorder. Anxiety is different from panic attacks in that it’s an actual condition characterized by intense, excessive, and persistent feelings of worry and fear about everyday situations. If you suspect that you may have anxiety or know someone who does, our mental treatment center in Florida offers anxiety treatment that can help you regain control of your health and life.
Also called an adrenaline hangover, a panic attack hangover refers to the symptoms you experience after your adrenaline levels go back down. During panic attacks, your adrenaline level spikes, increasing alertness and energy while sharpening your reflexes, so your body is prepared to either fight or run. However, once the perceived threat is gone and your symptoms have dissipated, you may be left feeling tired and even sore.
Feeling tired the day after a panic attack is completely normal. For some people, it takes days to recover from an anxiety attack. If you’re dealing with a panic attack hangover, some symptoms may even linger.
Common post-panic attack effects include:
While the physical symptoms of an anxiety attack tend to subside after about 20 minutes, others may continue to linger for a while. The person may continue to feel fearful, or their chest or stomach may hurt. They may continue to hyperventilate or have trouble catching their breath. They may even experience body pain after a panic attack due to physical tension.
Although recovering from an anxiety attack can take time, it is possible. Below are some simple ways to deal with the after-effects of a panic attack that may help you the next time one occurs.
Anxiety is no fun, and over time, the effects of anxiety on the body can take a toll. If you or someone you know struggles with anxiety, don’t wait to get help. You don’t have to live with this disorder or deal with it alone.