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Does everyone have panic attacks in the same way? Are panic attacks different for everyone?

22 Answers
Last Updated: 06/22/2020 at 10:32pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
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Christie Belle, Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy


I am a U.S. Air Force veteran and a ex-Army spouse. I am a divorced mother of two teenage boys, my youngest son has a diagnosis of autism, which I am very passionate about.

Top Rated Answers
March 15th, 2015 5:05pm
I have panic attacks and I know other people who have. panic attacks vary from person to person. in my case, my heart starts beating so fast, my breath, shortness of breath and start shaking. but there are other symptoms such as chest pain, dizziness, lightheadedness and headaches.
January 14th, 2015 8:05pm
There are some common symptoms that are experienced during panic attacks such as breathlessness, rapid heart beat and an overwhelming sense of fear.
August 23rd, 2016 1:06pm
Panic attacks are very different for each person. The varying symptoms are shaking, faster breathing, sweating, uncontrollable hand movements, emotional outburts and so many more. Part of dealing with anxiety is identifying your symptoms and how to deal with them!
April 17th, 2015 9:14pm
Every person is different, every panic attack is also different. Maybe while someone can't breathe on crowded places, you can't calm your heart out.
September 15th, 2015 1:49am
Everyone of us are all different and each going through different obstacles in our lives. I would definitely say we all experience panic attacks differently but similar enough to be able to relate with other people about them.
May 27th, 2015 9:55pm
it is different for everyone. there are stages of panic attacks, it is worse for people diagnosed with other illnesses
December 29th, 2015 12:38pm
No, some people have different panic attacks than others. Some of them might cry, get chest pain and more while others maybe don't get that. But, some people have panic attacks in the same way, but not all of them.
November 15th, 2016 9:17pm
Panic attacks are triggered by different things for different people and are caused by lots of reasons. Everyone has different symptoms some people are quiet and won't speak others may scream and shout, we are all different in the way we show our panic attacks.
April 10th, 2017 7:13pm
Well it often has to do with your situation and different worries you hold, it is different from person to person I'll make that much clear, your temperament and ability to filter out unreasonable thoughts also weighs on how you react...
September 4th, 2017 6:00pm
Yes panic attacks are different for everyone. Some people experience physical symptoms such as headaches or become sweaty other is just mental symptoms lacking sleep /under eating / other eating
October 24th, 2016 2:27pm
Yes! Panic attacks can present in very different ways for different people. And the symptoms people experience can vary as well. There are many, many symptoms that accompany panic attacks and not everyone experiences all of them, usually just a combination of several.
February 13th, 2017 1:53am
Panic attacks are defined by a limited set of possible symptoms, duration, and time they peak, but the severity and combination of symptoms differs from person to person, as do triggers.
February 13th, 2018 10:38pm
I think a panic attack usually has the same symptoms but each person can feel it one way or another, the goal is learn to manage them.
June 22nd, 2020 10:32pm
The symptoms of a panic attack my vary from person to person. Individually, each person's reaction to panicking will be different, even though there is a set list of broad, common symptoms. For example, common is elevated heart rate. That doesn't mean everyone will have an elevated heart rate but enough people do to make it pretty certain that you will. Just like people respond to anything in a different way than someone else, panic attacks are the same. No two people respond to any stimulus the same way even if there are commonalities among them. Hope this answers it!
November 7th, 2017 11:06am
People often experience similar sythoms but not everyone's panic attack are exactly the same different things trigger different people in different ways
February 26th, 2018 5:11am
They're usually somewhat different for everyone, but there's a lot of common ground. There are typical things that come up the most in panic attacks for most people, but there are differences here and there, usually based on intensity. For example, some feel loss of control before experiencing physical symptoms. Others feel physical symptoms first, then start panicking about those symptoms. They can also vary based on triggers. I personally feel pain in the heart and rapid heartbeat before breathing problems or shaking; others are the opposite, and vice versa. Panic attacks can vary from person to person, but there is a lot of common ground.
February 26th, 2018 10:22pm
There are symptoms that are common, but everyone experiences them differently. For example, symptoms can include: hyperventilating, sweating, shaking, stuttering, chest pain, and more. Person A may primarily experience chest pain and hyperventilating, while Person B may experience shaking and stuttering. Everyone experiences panic attacks at different levels of intensity too. Symptoms and intensity can vary from situation to situation too. So, in short, while some symptoms overlap, no one experiences panic attacks in the same way.
- Expert in Panic Attacks
June 4th, 2018 7:45am
Panic attacks depend on each person. While one person might just want to curl up in their room and need to hyperveltilate for a bit, another person might need someone to hold around them for a while. Again, there are some people who then again feel the need to throw up, while others doesn't. The way we handle panic differs from person to person. Symptoms usually goes around the same (Dizziness, Hyperventilating, feeling trapped, can't think etc..), there are differences such as extreme nausea. While my ex dealt with panic attacks he had to just let everything out and threw up, while I just needed to curl up in a ball, having someone who comforted me.
July 17th, 2018 5:20am
I don’t believe everyone experiences panic attacks in the same way. Everyone has had different experiences.
August 7th, 2018 6:39pm
I think everyone experiences panic attacks slightly differently, but because we have a definition of what they are, most people describe them similarly enough that it can be defined.
March 11th, 2019 11:41pm
I think that every one experiences panic attacks differently, and to different degrees of severity. Some people get the " stereo typical " panic anxiety attacks where they feel panicked, they can't breathe, and feel like they have a very quickly beating heart. Some people feel like they are going to have a heart attack, or like they are being suffocated, and may actually pass out. For other people, it is so draining that they fall asleep. For other people, they look like they are " zoning out " and become stiff as a board, and look frozen. There is no one type of panic attack.
January 27th, 2020 12:03pm
No, people who have got panic attacks have panic attacks in different ways. They can feel different symptoms and they also have different triggers for panic attacks. But i can't say whether panic attacks are different for everyone as i am not an expert in it. I can only say that there might be similarities and differences among panic attacks of different people. There might be some people on the earth who have got very similar kind of panic attacks and there are people whose panic attacks differ in every single aspect. There are so many people on the world that there can be very much difference possible.