A panic attack is a sudden overwhelm of intense feelings of anxiety and fear. There may be no obvious trigger and they can happen anywhere. They may be noticeable due to external symptoms such as:
- Feeling unable to breathe or hyperventilation
- Feeling shaky
- Tightness or chest pain
- Feeling stuck (can’t move)
- Feeling sick
- Stomach cramps
- Heart palpitations
- Feeling faint/ fainting
- Wobbly legs
- Everything feels brighter, louder, more intense.
- Everything feels far away
- Feeling like you’re about to die
Panic attacks can be extremely distressing and frightening for the child and young person and for adults around them to witness.
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