Symptoms of a Panic Attack

These are the symptoms of a panic attack:

  • a racing or pounding heartbeat
  • dizziness and lightheadedness
  • shortness of breath (“I can’t catch my breath”)
  • chest pains or a “heaviness” in the chest
  • flushes or chills
  • numbness or tingling in the hands, feet, legs, arms
  • jumpiness, trembling, twitching muscles
  • sweaty palms, flushed face
  • terror
  • fear of losing control
  • fear of a stroke that will lead to disability
  • fear of dying
  • fear of going crazy
  • abdominal discomfort or nausea
  • feeling of chocking
  • feeling unreal or being detached from oneself
  • fear of going crazy

The Hormones

Now let’s look at the hormones that make all these changes happen.

Epinephrine. Most probably you know this hormone by its other name: adrenaline. Epinephrine is the crucial component of fight-or-flee response, acting as a tonic activator of cardiac and respiratory systems.

Dopamine plays important roles in motivation, arousal and motor control.

Testosterone is responsible for peak physical performance. High levels of the stress hormone cortisol play a critical role in blocking testosterone’s effects.

Cortisol’s primary functions are to increase blood sugar and suppress the immune system.

Serotonin, also known as the “happy” hormone, induces an overall sense of well-being.

Endorphin is another “feel good” hormone produced during exercise, pain, love making. It is our own body’s natural painkiller.