While certain feelings uplift us, others deplete us. Anxiety may be extremely draining, as can the accompanying fear and worry, particularly if our concern is unrelenting or excessive given the situation. Anybody who has ever dealt with anxiety knows how unending even a few nervous minutes may feel.
Anxiety can take many different forms. For some, it manifests sporadically in response to particular stressors, while for others, it occurs frequently or almost continuously.
The various ways different people experience anxiety may also be referred to by phrases like “anxiety attacks” or “panic attacks.” However, what precisely is an “anxiety attack,” and how long does it last? Read on to find answers to the question: “How long do anxiety attacks last?”
Although “anxiety attacks” is not a medical phrase, many people and specialists refer to any prolonged episode of worry that is greater than usual as an “anxiety attack.” Some refer to it interchangeably with “panic attack,” a word used in medicine to describe unexpected, extremely frightening experiences.
Despite the frequent confusion between these two concepts related to mental health, there are some significant distinctions.
It is believed that anxiety is a normal stress reaction. This may be stress that you are aware of, or it may be happening for unknown reasons.
Panic episodes are more intense and frequently debilitating. An episode of panic can strike at any time. They can cause various physical symptoms, such as sweating, shaking, disorientation, chest pain, and shortness of breath.
Panic attacks can also be extremely frightening. Some say they feel as though they are suffering a heart attack or going insane.
Anxiety disorders are multifaceted and can be challenging to identify because. anxiety is a personal experience that is unique to each individual.
The following physical signs may indicate one of the various forms of anxiety disorders:
- Accelerated heart rate
- Fast breathing
- Stomach upsets
- Trembling or shaking
- Issues with sleep
- Tense muscles
- Excess sweating
Emotional signs of anxiety disorder include, but are not limited to:
- Dread or fear
- Constant worry
- Anticipating trouble or negative things
- Fear of what lies ahead
You should also understand that most of these symptoms may indicate other health issues. Diabetes, heart disease, and asthma are a few ailments that have similar symptoms. For instance, when blood sugar levels drop too low, a lot of diabetics report experiencing anxiety or a sense of impending doom.
Occasionally, the difference will depend on how long the anxiety attack lasts. If the patient’s symptoms disappear after correcting the blood sugar levels, then low glucose was probably the cause. If not, and the worry persists, an anxiety disorder might be the cause.
Anxiety episodes can typically last between a few minutes and thirty minutes. They will typically peak in five minutes or less. More often than not, time slows down during an anxiety attack, and ten minutes could feel like an entire hour.
However, if the attack lasts for several hours or days, it could not be a panic or anxiety attack. Prolonged attacks can be a sign of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).
Additionally, it’s also worth noting that one can experience multiple panic or anxiety episodes in quick succession. This could linger much longer and seem like waves of panic.
It’s critical to distinguish between an elevated anxiety state and ongoing panic episodes. It is uncommon for anxiety attacks to occur over several days. Typically, a high degree of anxiety that keeps a person “on edge” all the time is what defines an ongoing anxiety episode.
Recognizing Signs and Symptoms
Prolonged anxiety might take many different forms. You can experience persistent nervousness, trouble falling asleep, difficulty focusing, or a persistent feeling of fear. These emotions might be so intense that they seem to be an unending anxiety attack.
Getting Expert Assistance
It is also imperative that you seek professional assistance if you are suffering from persistent anxiety that seems to be lingering for days. Mental health specialists can offer helpful treatment options, such as medication and cognitive-behavioral therapy. These professionals can also assist you in understanding what you’re going through.
While we can’t pinpoint the precise reason or trigger of your attack, we can provide you strategies to assist in calming it or hopefully lessen its severity.
1. Examine Your Surroundings
Recall that your body is trying to prepare you for survival when it triggers the fight-or-flight reaction. Therefore, it is important to examine your surroundings. Are you in jeopardy?
If the response is in the affirmative, make sure you get to safety. If the response is no, continue observing your surroundings. Examine your workstation if you’re at work. Recognize that you and they are both here in this moment. This can assist you in getting back to your pre-panic state.
2. Take a Deep Breath
The fight-or-flight response causes your breathing to automatically shallow. Acknowledge the breaths and focus on making them deeper.
You will feel more at ease if you breathe more slowly and deeply. Regaining control over your breathing will help you feel better.
3. Recite a Mantra
A mantra is a condensed phrase that has personal significance for you. While some may refer to it as meditation, others might think of it as prayer.
It matters only that you say or think something positive aloud or often to yourself. “I am safe, I am calm,” for instance.
4. Get Moving
Moving seems to be the quickest way for some people to release anxious energy.
Exercises that are physically demanding, such as yoga, running, push-ups, and squats, cause your body to redirect its energy from anxiety toward the physical demands of the workout.
Anxiety disorders require professional help for effective management. Don’t let anxiety control your life.
With My Psychiatrist, you’ll receive care from certified mental health providers who are experts in managing anxiety disorders. It’s time to take a step towards better mental health. Call us today at (877) 548-8089 to book your appointment.