Panic attacks are caused due to extreme emotions of depression, anxiety, or nervousness. They can be triggered by a sudden change in lifestyle such as a new house or job or someone’s death, or a breakup or divorce, or event the birth of a baby. Both good and bad changes in life can bring on these panic attacks. They are an indication that the body is trying to cope with the new developments, but is finding it difficult.
These panic attacks manifest themselves differently in different people. Their duration differs as well. In some people, they might last as little as 5 minutes, whereas in some people they might even go up to a few hours. Thus, there is no specific answer to how long do panic attacks last; this depends on the overall coping mechanism of the body. Short-term panic attacks aren’t much of a matter of concern. Almost all of us go through them at some point in our life or another; but if a panic attack stretches out to an hour or more, then immediate medical attention might be required.
It must be noted that in many people, heart attacks might manifest themselves as panic attacks at first. Hence, what you begin to think of as a panic attack could actually be a heart attack. It is important to know the history of a person suffering from the attack so that the right care can be given.
Panic attacks usually show themselves as a feeling of rapid uneasiness, which is shown by heavy breathing. The heartbeat increases and the person begins to sweat profusely. There might be hyperventilation, and the person’s voice might change as well. Outbursts of emotions are also common. Urgent care might be needed depending on the symptoms, and the person must be kept away from stressful incidents at all times in such a scenario.