Tag Archive for: Fight or Flight

What are the Symptoms of a Panic Attack?

A panic attack is a surge of intense, overwhelming anxiety. Symptoms come on suddenly and usually peak within ten minutes. With panic, the fight-or-flight system has been triggered, preparing the person for emergency action. The result is both intense anxiety and physiological arousal. Bodily symptoms include rapid heart rate, chest pain, choking, dizziness, sweating, nausea, and trembling. Psychological symptoms include fear of going crazy, fear of dying, and depersonalization or derealization.

The Amygdala

nxiety is the product of evolution, simply because all organisms need some mechanism that senses and appraises threat. Given some threat to survival, the resources of the entire organism must be mobilized, and quickly, in order to flee or fight. This explains why anxiety can be aroused in milliseconds, why you feel anxiety simultaneously in your body and your mind, and why anxious symptoms so completely pervade your thoughts and emotions. Congrats, you inherited a fully featured threat detection system.