An anxiety attack can be one of the scariest things to experience. Most people are familiar with the typical symptoms of an anxiety attack: rapid heart rate, tightness in your chest, and shortness of breath. But, even when you are in the middle of it, there are several other things you don't realize are signs of an anxiety attack.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults, or 18 percent of the population. They can develop from a variety of risk factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events. Anxiety disorders are highly treatable, yet only about one-third of those suffering seek treatment.
People with anxiety disorders may experience anxiety or panic attacks. These are abrupt onsets of intense fear or discomfort that reach a peak within a few minutes. According to an ABC News article by Cathy Frank, M.D. of Henry Ford Hospital, anxiety attacks and panic attacks have similar symptoms but are not exactly the same. An anxiety attack often comes in reaction to a stressor, but a panic attack can be unprovoked and unpredictable, even occurring in the middle of the night.
If you think you may be having an anxiety attack, here are some lesser known symptoms to be on the lookout for.