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How Long Do Anxiety Attacks Last?

How Long Anxiety Attacks Last

Anyone who has suffered from an anxiety attack knows how overwhelming it can be. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), anxiety disorders affect 18.1% of the United States population every year. If you’re one of those people, you know that an anxiety attack can make it feel as though you’re drowning.

Each second that ticks by during an anxiety attack can feel like minutes or hours. In this article, we will be discussing how to identify an anxiety attack and how long they may last.

Signs of Anxiety Attack

Like any other illness, there are often warning signs to look out for that may suggest that an anxiety attack is imminent. Before an anxiety attack, a person may start to feel restless, irritable, tense, and fatigued. That being said, there are certain occasions in which an anxiety attack may come on suddenly and without warning.

When experiencing an anxiety attack, you may exhibit one or all of the following symptoms:

  • Abnormal, pounding, or accelerated heartbeat
  • Sensations of choking, drowning, or shortness of breath
  • Vague feelings of impending doom
  • The sensation of losing control
  • Sweating and trembling
  • Hyperventilation or trouble breathing orchest pains
  • Dizziness and intense fear

These are what is typically experienced by people who suffer from anxiety attacks but is by no means a comprehensive list of all possible symptoms. Because anxiety is so closely tied with your psyche, it may manifest itself in any number of ways.

Anxiety Attack vs. Panic Attack

If you’re reading this article then you’re probably familiar with the term “panic attack.” It is often used interchangeably with the term anxiety attack but they are indeed different conditions. Mental health professionals recognize that feelings of mild anxiety are a normal part of everyday life. Anxiety, at its root, is the stressful anticipation of a future event. Anxiety attacks often begin to manifest themselves over time as anxiety builds up.

Panic attacks can come on more suddenly and often without identifiable triggers. It is normally an intense, abrupt reaction to whatever is happening right now, triggering the brain’s “fight-or-flight” response. These episodes are characterized by intense and sudden fear, a sense of threat, and difficulty breathing.

How Long Do Anxiety Attacks Last?

As mentioned above, anxiety is closely tied to your unique situation, physical and mental well-being, and mental health history. There is no set timeframe for the duration of an anxiety attack but research suggests that most attacks last about 20 minutes.

While 20 minutes doesn’t sound like a long time, to someone in the throes of an anxiety attack it can feel like hours. It can be extremely helpful to take note of multiple factors surrounding incidents of anxiety attack such as factors that may have triggered the event and the actual duration of the attack. This can be incredibly valuable information that can help mental health professionals determine what type of treatment is best for your particular situation. 

There is no “one-size-fits-all” solution to the complex issue of anxiety and anxiety attacks. Anxiety treatment may focus on several factors including individualized therapy, medication, diet, and lifestyle changes. 

At SUN Delaware, we’re committed to serving your unmet needs when it comes to helping conquer your anxiety. Our individualized approach to mental health treatment can help you overcome your preoccupation with anxiety and live a healthy life.

Call us today at 302-604-5600.

Because we understand that anxiety is a complex and personal issue, we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help you better understand the topic:

Health and Panic Disorder Condition FAQs:

How long does it take for an anxiety attack to pass?

Anxiety attacks typically last no more than 30 minutes, with the symptoms reaching their most intense at about halfway through the attack. Anxiety can build up for hours or even days before the actual attack so it is important to take note of factors that contribute to anxiety to effectively prevent or treat them.

Can an anxiety attack last for days?

The actual anxiety “attack” itself typically only lasts for about half an hour. That being said, the anxiety leading up to the actual episode can last hours or even days. The silver lining to this build-up is that, once you recognize the triggers and signs of an anxiety attack, you can take measures to prevent them from happening.

What should I do after an anxiety attack?

After the intense symptoms of an anxiety attack subside, it can be very helpful to try to identify the factors that may have caused the anxiety attack in the first place. This can help both you and your mental healthcare provider determine the best way to approach treating your anxiety.

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