Panic Attack Test

Category: Panic Attack Online Therapy | Last updated: October 11th, 2018 | Reviewed and approved by:

Signs and symptoms of panic attacks

The first panic attacks usually occur without any obvious triggers and often during stressful periods in your life, such as during times of heavy workload, after a death in the family, illness, accident, birth, divorce or separation. The attacks also have a tendency to "pop up" when you start to unwind after a stressful period. Some people experience one or a few panic attacks during such a stressful phase, while others experiences several panic attacks in a row within a few days or weeks. This, in turn, means that the sufferer begins to fear new attacks and walks around in a constant state of worry and anxiety (called anticipatory anxiety).

A panic attack is the body's normal reaction to fear, a reaction called "fight, flight or freeze". When we are in a life-threatening situation (like becoming a tiger's lunch) our bodies autonomic nervous system is activated to help us to quickly get to safety by becoming stronger, faster or acting dead. The threatening message that our brain receives lead to our body to secrete stress hormones, like adrenaline, increasing our experience of severe anxiety. The sympathetic nervous system causes the blood to move from your skin, stomach, fingers and toes into the bigger muscles like the arms and the legs. Necessary senses are being enhanced; the pupils dilate, your vision and hearing become clearer, your heart races and your breathing becomes faster to get more oxygen to your lungs and the digestive system slows.

When experiencing a panic attack, which is not dangerous in itself, the body reacts in the exact same way as if you were in a life-threatening situation. It is, therefore, understandable that you get the following symptoms when suffering from a panic attack:

Palpitations and rapid heartbeat
Chest pain
Fast breaths and difficulties breathing
Tingling sensation in your body
Dryness in your mouth
Stomach problems
Dizziness and faintness
Feelings of being in a situation you may never get out of
Fear of going crazy
Fear of dying
Fear of having a heart attack
Feeling of losing control
Feelings of unreality

The symptoms of a panic attack commonly last 15-30 minutes, while sometimes they continue as cyclical series of episodes lasting for hours. It is common that people believe that they are having a heart attack when they experience shortness of breath and severe chest pain, which results in wrongly seeking treatment in an emergency room. With the right treatment, you can reduce or eliminate the symptoms of panic and regain control of your life.

Further reading: Overcome your panic attack with online therapy.

If you suffer from any of the symptoms described above, we recommend that you take this test. Evaluate the statements and select the option that you feel best reflects the way you have felt for the past two weeks. The test is, of course, anonymous and free (see our privacy policy).

This panic attack test is not to be seen as a final diagnosis. If you are uncertain about your result, we suggest that you get professional help as soon as possible.

Partly true
Not true
1. During the last six months, I have had a panic attack or a sudden rush of intense fear or anxiety.
2. At least one panic attack was totally unexpected, as if it came out of the blue.
3. I experience panic attacks that aren’t tied to a specific situation.
4. When I have a panic attack, it often lasts more than ten minutes.
5. I often worry about having another panic attack.
6. I often worry that having the attacks meant that I am losing control/going crazy/having a heart attack/seriously ill.
7. I am behaving differently because of my panic attacks, such as avoiding places where I have previously panicked.
Think back to your most severe panic attack. Did you experience any of the following symptoms?
8. Shortness of breath or smothering sensations.
9. Feeling dizzy, unsteady, lightheaded or faint.
10. Palpitations, pounding heart or rapid heart rate.
11. Trembling or shaking.
12. Sweating.
13. Feelings of choking.
14. Nausea or abdominal pain.
15. Numbness or tingling sensations.
16. Flushes (hot flashes) or chills.
17. Chest pain or discomfort.
18. Fear of dying.
19. Fear of going crazy or doing something uncontrolled.
Generating result...