Can a panic attack last longer than a few hours?
Last Updated: 01/03/2020 at 3:30am
Trishna Monplaisir, LMSW
Clinical Social Work/Therapist
We are here to advocate, empower and provide compassion to individuals who need help.
Top Rated Answers
As a nurse, a panic attack can last from 30 second to 24 hours however this could be longer, anything more than 1 hour panic attack (hyperventilation etc) should be treated via rapid medical attention. attacks that are through mental, such as anxiety and scared, should be seen by a medical professional after a 24 hour period.
Yes. I've had panic attacks that have lasted for a full week. Depending on the person and situation, it can last from a few hours to about a week or maybe even more.
A panic attack can last for a different amount of time for each individual. According to healguide.org, the signs and symptoms of a panic attack develop abruptly and usually reach their peak within 10 minutes. Most panic attacks end within 20 to 30 minutes, and they rarely last more than an hour. Now, reoccurring panic attacks can happen as well, where one panic attack complete its cycle and another begins. Remember, if you are experiencing a panic attack, try to acknowledge that you are experiencing a panic attack and take a few breaths. I remember yelling STOP to myself and after a few times, it eventually subsided. That was my personal experience, but there are other coping methods out there! Remember, there is usually a reason behind the panic attack, so if you need someone to speak to, we are all here to help!
If a panic attack happens, and ends quickly, sometimes another one can start right after this one. Most of the time it is a string of them, not just one all together.
They can, but it is uncommon. Most of the time the body gets worn out and tired long before it is panicking for more than 2 hours.
My most recent attack seemed to go on for a couple of days. Off and on as I tried different coping mechanisms to relax. Finally went to the ER b/c I was afraid I was having a heart attack and it scared me. This is only my second full blown attach. The first one was 12 years ago - Fiance dumped me, planning a wedding for a friend - two days after my graduation from college with my Master's Degree- brother in a relationship that required my biting of the tongue...too much all at once. Losing my insurance coverage at the end of the month and needed to make sure my health was okay.
Yes, You can have the panicked feeling of being chased or hunted all day long, it is a bad experience with in some cases hyperventilation as followup
Mine do. Literally leave me out the game for 7 days, the first time it happened I phoned an ambulance on myself convinced I was having a heart attack.. it starts off with a weird sensation almost like an explosion in the back of my head then the palpitations begin, then I can’t stop gagging/ being sick, I can’t eat for 7 days, I can barely move, I can’t even enjoy a single cig and I survive solely off water for that week. I lost 8 stone in about a year. Still have a horrible relationship with food, I have an eating disorder because of it as I’ve never found my trigger - could be laying in bed watching my favourite tv show. I figured well I do t know what my trigger is, all I know is when I have an attack I’m uncontrollably sick so if I haven’t eaten or I’ve eaten very little and attack happens then it won’t be so bad because my stomach is empty. I went to the doctors numerous times and just felt they were fobbing me off or that they thought I was a hypochondriac so I stopped reaching out for help. It’s got to a point where I can’t help myself. I’m dizzy all the time, I’m tired all the time, I rarely leave the house in fear of an attack. I had a friend who was getting Valium for her anxiety and she gave me some, for the first time in years I felt “normal” I could go out with my mates, I could even drink a little alcohol (first attack happened after I’d been drinking so by association my brains been like “no you can’t drink that”) I could go out and do stuff with my son with no worries in my head. I realised I just wanted my life back. So I reached out again and I left my general surgery in tears, I got brave enough again to ask for help, to say how much my panic attacks were affecting me, to speak up about my eating disorder that I wasn’t coping not being able to do anything, constantly feeling like I’m about to have an attack, Im overwhelmed all the time and I believed valium which a friend had given me a box of was helping me become the best me, I wasn’t abusing it, I was taking one little pill as and when required. You know he said?.. “I think we should up your anxiety medication dosage, that’s not the right course of action” a doctor thst has never seen me before, probably didn’t even look at my records, just took one look at me, seen my makeup was perfectly done, seen I was dressed nice and either thought I wanted to abuse it or that I didn’t need it, never mentioned anything about my eating disorder or my continuing, disabling panic attacks, just basically told me no I’m not going to help you. I burst into tears and haven’t been back since. This was last July or something. Everything’s still the same and I don’t think it’s possible for me to lose any more weight without skin removal surgery (which also severely affects my anxiety and panic), I’m already down to an 8 from a 20. My point is, that even when you do find the courage to reach out, you don’t always get the help you so desperately need. It puts you off going again.
Yes. Panic attacks can build over hours, days and weeks and hit us in waves. It depends a great deal on your body and what is going on in your immediate environment. Sometimes we have panic attacks and anxiety during times when we are at rest. This happens because our body is finally dealing with pent up stress we have been bottling away for too long. It helps to have a relaxation practice once a day. Whatever it is, guided meditation, going for a walk, yoga.... Pick your method of self care and stick to it. This will help reduce the frequency and intensity of anxiety you have to shoulder.
Very generally speaking a panic attack would not usually last this long. However if you are experiencing the symptoms of an attack for this long it is perhaps something you would want to consider seeing a professional about. Especially if feeling that way for such an extended period of time is affecting you and your life in other ways. If that is not a good option for you perhaps try other ways to reduce their duration. What works for my wife is distancing herself from the situation/trigger (walk away from the desk/table), practicing deep breathing, distraction (she holds an ice cube in her hand but it could be something like jogging, anything that demands your attention) and positive self thinking (reassure yourself you're going to be OK, you will get through the feelings but most important don't be ashamed of having the attacks)
Panic attacks can appear in many different shapes and forms, from overwhelming hyperventilating to that sick feeling in the back of your throat, chest and stomach. As well as many in between. Some types probably can't last longer than a few hours, but some certainly can. If you think you're in the midst of a panic attack which has lasted this long, please, PLEASE, talk to someone about it. Even if it's just your dog, getting it out there, talking, articulating your thoughts can help so much! Websites like rainymood and the dawn room I find can also be really helpful, I hope this helped :)
Interestingly, panic attacks do seem to follow a specific pattern. Panic attacks tend to peak about 10 minutes in, and then go through a slow but steady decline that can last anywhere from 10 minutes to several hours. The resulting fatigue from a panic attack, however, can last the rest of the day depending on the severity of the attack.
Yes, if you're continuously in the same place...while experiencing attacks or if you have not talked to anyone that while....other reasons also do exist.
Yes. That's why it is important to understand how to help yourself in that type of situation. Everyone has different way to calm themselves down from a panic attack.
Yes that is normal love, everyone reacts differently to them! You'll be fine, remember to stay relaxed and calm.
I would advise you to speak to a medical expert. Panic attacks range in length from person to person
Hi there! I’m sorry that you’re experiencing panic attacks- I’ve suffered through some major ones too in my life, but as far as I was aware, usually panic attacks don’t last more than a half hour, usually- but in extreme cases CAN last hours, or up to a whole day. I think maybe it’s important to distinguish between the point where anxiety or emotions are building up to a panic attack, because that can be and feel very intense too, and the point where it does turn into a full blown panic attack. I do hope it’s something that perhaps you could talk to a doctor or professional about to help manage your panic attacks. Best of luck and wishing you wellness! ❤️
Depends on the reason what 'caused it. What I've experienced is that it lasts for at least an hour or at times less than that.
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