How Long Do Panic Attacks Last?

Before worrying about how long panic attacks last, we must understand just what a panic attack is and how it affects our lives. Many people will experience some anxiety in their lives. This can be viewed as an early-warning system that is a result of everyday stress. We should pay attention to the warnings because a panic attack may follow.

If we feel and express fear that is out of proportion to the real situation, begin to sweat and tremble, we may be experiencing a panic attack. Apart from a feeling of impending doom we might feel dizzy, nauseous and may not be able to sleep. There are numerous other symptoms that should be part of your education if you or someone close to you is experiencing serious anxiety or panic attacks.

So, how long do panic attacks last. How long will the above symptoms continue? It is difficult to answer these questions accurately because panic attacks may be as short-lived as five minutes or they may continue for half an hour. *Medical research has shown that specific fears lasting much longer periods may be considered phobias. In most cases panic attacks and phobias should be considered separate maladies and treated as such.

The length of a true panic attack depends on many variables, including the general health of the person affected. Many people are able to recognize and deal with panic attacks, even limiting the effects through previous training, focusing on breathing techniques and taking specific medications.

Others, especially those who have not experienced an attack previously, might actually contribute to the intensity of the attack or lengthen the time by reacting in the “wrong” way. Those who face up to the reality of panic attacks may be able to lessen the effects and shorten the episode to a few minutes. Others may feel the dizziness, fear and other symptoms for an hour or two if they don’t take certain steps.

One of the first things that should be done is this: Tell someone about it! Talk to a close friend, family member and visit your trusted family physician. Don’t keep it to yourself.


If you are

experiencing a panic attack and don’t know how long it will last, worrying about its length won’t help. In fact, it will probably add to the problem.

Start some simple deep-breathing techniques immediately to slow yourself down. For many people, relaxation can be a way to start dealing with an attack in its early stages. Others have found that focusing on the reality of the situation helps limit the effects and the time they have the symptoms of a panic attack.

Try not to think about what could happen or about what has happened, because there is nothing you can do about that. Concentrate on the situation at hand. Even going for a leisurely walk might help, though some people have found that they limit the attack’s time when someone walks and talks with them.

Panic attacks have different time lengths for different individuals. With help from others you can learn how panic and anxiety will affect you.

Written by Lucas Beaumont

Generalist. Wikipedia contributor. Elementary school teacher from Saskatchewan, Canada.

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