woman holding herself experiencing the Signs of an Anxiety Attack

Signs of an Anxiety Attack

People who experience an anxiety attack often say that they feel like they’re dying. In some cases, they take an ambulance to the hospital because they’re convinced they’re having a heart attack. The signs of an anxiety attack can be challenging to deal with, especially when you may be experiencing this situation for the first time.

If you or a loved one experiences an anxiety attack and struggles with addiction, reach out to the dual diagnosis treatment center in MA.

Here’s what to look out for if you suspect that you had an anxiety attack.

Physical Signs of an Anxiety Attack

You may experience a mix of physical, mental, and emotional signs of an anxiety attack. Each person has their own unique experience with anxiety, so that’s important to keep in mind when you look over these lists.

The following are common ways anxiety affects the body.

Difficulty Breathing

Your respiratory rate can pick up during an anxiety attack, which can lead to hyperventilation. You breathe too rapidly and the amount of oxygen that your body gets goes down. If this goes on long enough, you could pass out. Your chest may also feel tight, which contributes to breathing problems.

Heart Palpitations

This sign is the biggest reason that people think an anxiety attack is a heart attack. Your heartbeat may become irregular. You can become distinctly aware of it beating and feel uncomfortable due to the intensity.


Feeling like you’re on the edge of passing out is another symptom of an anxiety attack. It can occur even if you aren’t hyperventilating.


You may notice your hands or entire body start to shake. You’re not able to get control of this movement, and it could get worse as your anxiety attack progresses.

If shaking co-occurs with drug or alcohol withdrawal symptoms, it is safer and more comfortable to go to an inpatient rehab center where medical attention is readily available.

Changes in Temperature

Your body might feel overly hot or cold as you start to experience an anxiety attack.


You may hold tension throughout your body, such as in your neck, shoulders, jaw, and hands.

Mental and Emotional Signs of an Anxiety Attack

What you’re thinking and feeling are other important signs to pay attention to during an anxiety attack.

You don’t have to live with these signs of an anxiety attack. Individual and group therapy programs can help you overcome them.

Extreme Panic or Fear

You may be frozen in place or scrambling to get away due to the amount of panic or fear that you’re feeling. It’s difficult or impossible to think rationally in this moment, which can lead to many problems in decision-making.

Loss of Control

You may feel like you’ve lost control of your body or your emotions entirely. When you’re this overwhelmed, you may feel hopeless at doing anything that could stop the anxiety attack or influencing its severity.


On the other end of the spectrum, you may become completely detached from the situation and disassociate. You watch yourself react to the situation, as though you’re on the TV. The detachment is another scenario where your decision-making is clouded.

Finding Treatment for Signs of an Anxiety Attack

You don’t have to suffer through uncontrolled anxiety attacks for your entire life. Getting help for this mental illness can improve your quality of life and help you lessen the severity of the attacks or eliminate them entirely.

The types of services that can help you through the signs of an anxiety attack include:

Contact Washburn House at 855.298.3104 to learn more about the ways that you can recognize and manage the signs of an anxiety attack.

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