How Long Does a Panic Attack Last?

A lot of factors determine how long a panic attack can last; therefore if you are searching for how long does a panic attack last then you must pay attention to every detail here as it relates to a panic attack.

Medically, a panic attack is a very short time experience of sudden fear or shock, which means it, can last just within 10 to 60 minutes. But the effects can last longer.

How Long Does a Panic Attack Last

Research has shown that a lot of people do not know the difference between a panic attack and panic disorder. Therefore, they always get confused along the line.

To clarify the issue, a panic attack is usually the first experience of sudden fear or shock, while continuous experiencing it is known as panic disorder. In other words, panic disorder is as a result of an untreated panic attack.

In this post, there are several questions we will provide answers to in order to understand a panic attack in details.

What are the causes of a panic attack? How can it be treated? What are the symptoms, and What can e the triggers? And many more

What Are The Causes of Panic Attack?

It is sad to know that despite investing millions of dollars in the research on the causes of a panic attack, there is little or none to show. But there are suggestions, which have helped in fighting this health disorder.

Some of the suggestions are that it is hereditary. That means it is generational in some families. Also, it is suggested that some life conditions can lead to it such as doing a presentation. Getting your first baby, landing your first job, death of a loved one and many more.

In fact, it has been proven that every adult must experience a panic attack at least once in a lifetime. Therefore, it is almost normal, but it becomes a very big health problem when it continues periodically, which is known as a panic disorder.

What is Panic Disorder

Periodical experiencing a panic attack is referred to panic disorder. And as to panic attack, there are no clear medical causes of panic disorder. But there are established facts about the triggers.

The triggers are those conditions that lead to a panic disorder such as:

  • The cardiac problem resulting from when the heart valve doesn’t close well. It is medically known as mitral valve prolapsed
  • When the thyroid gland overreact
  • Low blood sugar in the system known as hypoglycemia
  • The use of stimulant or hard drugs such as cocaine, caffeine, and amphetamines
  • Withdrawal from some medication.

What Are Symptoms of Panic Attack

Some symptoms of a panic attack are similar to the symptoms of other common sicknesses you may be experiencing. The major difference is that symptoms of a panic attack do not last long.

It can last within a range of 10 minutes to 60 minutes. If for any reasons the symptoms mentioned below last more than 6o minutes then there is a need for you to visit your doctor immediately. The known symptoms are:

  • Shortness of breath or hyperventilation
  • Heart palpitations or racing heart
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Choking feeling
  • Feeling unreal or detached from your surroundings
  • Sweating
  • Nausea or upset stomach
  • Feeling dizzy, light-headed, or faint
  • Numbness or tingling sensations
  • Hot or cold flashes
  • Fear of dying, losing control, or going crazy

Self Help Tips For a Panic attack

Still on the question, how long does a panic attack last? So far, we have established that it doesn’t last longer than 6o minutes if unattended to. But you can make it shorter or less than 10 minutes if you understand things to do to calm it down quickly.

A panic attack can occur anywhere and at any time, therefore it is wise every adult to master the art of self-help in the face of eventuality. Therefore, some of the self-help tips are:

Have the In-Depth Knowledge

The first step in solving any problem or providing a solution to any problem is by having a good understanding of the problem.  Therefore, one of the self-help tips for a panic attack is to know everything about it.

You have to understand the causes, symptoms and how long it can last. In addition, you need to go further in knowing the similarity and difference between a panic attack and anxiety.

Develop a Healthy Lifestyle

If you are experiencing a panic attack from time to time then you are facing a health challenge known as panic disorder. And the best way you can reduce the frequent occurrences of it is by developing a healthy lifestyle.

This means you should avoid smoking, drinking alcohol and consuming anything with caffeine content. These things can provoke a panic attack.

Breathe Control  

A panic attack leads to hyperventilation, which usually leads to lightheadedness and tightness of the chest. The fastest and easiest way to ease this condition is through breathing control.  Breathe control entails practicing deep and slow breathing whenever you experience any of the symptoms of the attack.

Practice Relaxation Techniques

Practicing and mastering the art of relaxation increase the rate of joy and happiness in adult. Therefore, in the face of a panic attack, you can deploy any of the relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation to calm your muscles and body system down.

Always Socialize

Isolation leads to boredom and that is one of the panic attack triggers. Therefore, you have to mingle with friends and family who care about you whenever you start having the feeling of the attack.

Exercise Regularly

Exercise does not only serve as a relief measure, it equally serves as a preventive measure. Therefore, if you are having the signs or if you do experience it regularly then you must imbibe the attitude of regular exercise. Daily, simple and short time exercises are all you need to keep your body calm always

Get Enough Rest

Lack of good and sound night sleep can lead to the attack. So, as an adult, you need at least 7 hours of sleep daily to remain sound and hearty. No matter your schedule, try to have a good night rest because it helps in keeping your body system sound at all time

How to Treat Panic Attack

If your condition leads to a visit to your doctor, which may lead to treatment then expect to undergo psychological therapy or medication.  These are the two major ways of treating patients with a consistent panic attack.

But before then, since the symptoms are similar to that of other diseases, you will first undergo a complete physical exam. This is to make sure you are only suffering from after effect of a shock or fear.


This type of treatment has shown a high level of success among patients. It involves one on one consultation with a counselor who has a better understand panic attack and panic disorder.

It this case, you have to reveal to your counselor everything you know about your condition. Because it is out of the words on your mouth she can come up with the best solution to your condition.

In that case, you learn practically how to handle it in case it happens again. It is another way of sharing your problem with an expert.


Medication is rare or it is used in extreme cases. It does not cure or treat it rather it temporarily put the patient in a stable condition. Medication is usually effective when combined with talk therapy.

 How Long Does a Panic Attack Last? – Wrap Up

Obviously, we have done justice to your question, how long does a panic attack last. Also, we went deep in revealing to you causes and symptoms of this health challenge. Finally, you have understood some self-help tips that can help you calm down the situation

As a rule of thumb, if the symptom or effect of panic attack last more than 60 minutes then visit your doctor immediately. Always learn to be happy and calm in all situations. Above all, practice healthy living lifestyle.

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