Doctor's Answers (2)
Your description does sound typical of a panic attack.
Hyperventilating will make your symptoms worse, as well as cause the tingling and numbness that you’ve described. Try to consciously slow down your breathing for about 20 minutes the next time it occurs.
Panic attacks are usually completely harmless, although there are other conditions that can mimic these symptoms.
This is especially applicable if you have a family history of heart or thyroid problems, or feel that you have an irregular heart beat.
As it’s your first panic attack, it’s worthwhile going to your GP to have it checked out.
He can do the necessary tests and refer you on to see another doctor if needed, including a psychologist or psychiatrist.
Your doctor will also be able to better explain your condition, how best to prevent its recurrence, and what to do in the event of another attack.
Yes, what you describe sounds like an anxiety attack. Was it triggered off by you having to make a presentation or answer a question in class? If the attacks are recurrent, it will be important to seek medical attention.
If you have anticipatory anxiety (worries about having another attack), it will good to seek medical help. If the anxiety attacks are precipitated by social situations like presenting in class, then the diagnosis is that of social anxiety disorder or social phobia. Yes, the condition can be effectively treated so that your grades will not be affected.