When a Panic Attack hits, or you become extremely angry, the emotional response you undergo can actually bypass the thinking part of your brain. This why your Panic Attacks seems to come from out of the blue. The amygdala becomes involved by creating a faster than thought Panic Attack. To think clearly when in a highly emotional state is extremely difficult, if not impossible.
The reason for this is that the part of the brain that gives you clarity of thought is inhibited. All right, you say, that's fine, but what is the amygdala?
It's designed for basic survival and is a very primitive part of your brain. It plays no part in the more complex situations like problem solving. Neural pathways send information to the amygdala, which determines the significance of the stimulus and triggers emotional responses such as our old friends, fight or flight, as well as the inner workings of your organs and glands.
People so often make the comment that; “It's so irrational.” They're perfectly correct. Since it is not the part of the brain that deals with Panic Attacks, it explains why people find it so difficult, or impossible, to make decisions during a Panic Attack.
Best selling author, Daniel Goleman, has termed this response 'Emotional Hijacking.' What he means is that your emotional response has hijacked your thinking, rational mind.
The first sign that your Panic Attacks have left you when when you find you can not have these attacks any more. Obviously? Maybe, but please note that I said 'can not,' not 'do not.' The reason is that something fundamental in your mind has changed in it's response.
Now, we've examined hyperventilation fairly thoroughly, and came to the conclusion that it is indeed a symptom of the Panic Attack, the one feeding off the other. However, there are a number of other symptoms, too, which we should at least name.
Shortness of breath,
Weakness and Fatigue.
Chest pains, understandably, cause any number of hospital visits. People think they're in the grip of a heart attack, so their first thought is the emergency room.
The shortness of breath symptom is only our old friend hyperventilation, and we've seen previously that in fact, far from having too little oxygen, we have too much.
I know from experience how light-headedness and giddiness can immediately precede a Panic attack. I can remember feeling nauseous and that I was about to faint.
Heart Palpitations, too, make you feel weak and if you do not know what they are, they too can be a worry.
Always remember, though, that Panic attacks will pass and that no-one's ever died from one!