Have you affected from a panic attack? Then you're probably very popular with the symptoms - sweaty palms, mental confusion, and an overly high heart rate. There are other possible signs as well, but these are the most common. It's important to recognize that these symptoms identify a panic attack, so that a proper diagnosis can be achieved. It also means that the sufferer can identify what's going on as early as possible, so that measure can be taken to try and avert the panic attack. Lack of knowledge can exacerbate the severity and duration of a panic attack.

It may sound a little silly, but the most common symptom of a panic attack is simply that - panic.

It's often highly intense, and can be triggered by even the small provocation. Issues arising in the family, at work, or problems with money, can all trigger a panic attack. The sufferer may start to shake or cry, break into a cold sweat, or almost instantly develop a pounding headache. People who experience severe panic attacks on a regular basis will sometimes even go so far as to exclude themselves from society, afraid that if they go out in public they might suffer another panic attack, with the result that others will laugh at them.

Many sufferers also turn to drugs or alcohol on a regular basis. Unfortunately, this reliance of the numbing effects of alcohol and particular types of drugs is of concern, as it can point to a severe underlying issue. Sufferers who try to prevent or reduce panic attacks by heavy drinking or drug use are often trying to suppress emotions and feelings that they don't wish to express. This can have serious implications for their health, but the person suffering from panic attacks may consider this preferable to having another panic attack.

Another symptom often exhibited in conjunction with panic attacks is an intense level of social anxiety. The individual may be reluctant to meet other people and talk with them, and will avoid any type of social gathering. Unfortunately many people who react in this anti-social way also exhibit other symptoms like dry mouth, stammering, or difficulty talking. This results in others labeling them as very shy or introverted, which garners little sympathy from their peers. Some may even dismiss them as mentally ill. All this does is exacerbate the problem, leading sufferers to believe that their fear of social interaction is correct, and that others don't care about their mental well being.

Many sufferers also exhibit symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and the two often go together. The individual will be consumed by a limited number of thoughts, and will think the same thoughts over and over again in an endless loop, growing more obsessed and distressed by what them. This obsessiveness can lead to a principle that things have to be done a certain way, or something dreadful will result. So someone feels they have to wash their hands 4 times after going to the bathroom. This in itself is challenging, but if the conditions aren't satisfied, definitely the result will be panic attack.