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The Science Behind Anxiety Attacks

Anxiety - we've all been there. The racing heart, beads of sweat and shortness of breath are all normal reactions to times of stress. However, when symptoms escalate beyond these normal feelings of discomfort, the individual is in danger of experiencing an anxiety attack. 

What is an Anxiety Attack?

Anxiety attacks are defined as the sudden, overwhelming feeling of intense anxiety. This anxiety is so severe that it often results in a person's inability to function properly for a short period of time. If a certain stressful situation causes you to tremble uncontrollably, hyperventilate, sweat profusely, freeze up in fear and/or go into hysterics, then you are likely experiencing an anxiety attack. Usually, they manifest as part of a larger anxiety disorder or panic disorder.

Anxiety Attack Stress Symptoms

The overall feeling of discomfort and fear is a culmination of many different symptoms. Most of these symptoms occur as a result of increased adrenaline in your blood system. The most common symptoms felt during an anxiety attack include:
  • Heart palpitations

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Shaking

  • Stomach discomfort

  • Blurry vision

  • Chest pain

  • Difficulty swallowing

  • Numbness in the arms and legs

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