A panic attack is a sudden rush of intense fear and physical symptoms.
The signs and symptoms of a panic attack develop quickly, without much warning and usually reach their peak within 10 minutes. Panic attacks rarely last more than an hour, with most ending within 20 to 30 minutes.
Having a panic attack can feel like the world is suddenly crashing down on you. You might feel numb, hot, dizzy, nauseous, have difficulty breathing and feel your heart start to race.
It might also feel like your whole body is being overwhelmed by a crushing sense of fear that something terrible is happening. You can even think you’re about to pass out, lose control of your bladder, be sick or have a heart attack.
Some people may have panic attacks once in a while; while other people may have them every day. It’s also possible to have one panic attack during a very stressful situation and not experience any more.