Panic attack symptoms can vary, but generally the following symptoms manifest during a panic attack:
In short a sense of being completely out of control.
A number of things happen during a panic attack, but the main thing is that your fear response is out of control. It is a disproportionate reaction to the situation the person is into the current situation that you're in, which is usually not very threatening.
A situation, event or nothing at all, triggers some kind of sensation that manifests as a mixture of the symptoms outlined above and in severe cases these panics can cripple a person and make it difficult if not impossible to conduct a 'normal' life.
These attacks usually only last about 10 minutes, but it can seem like an eternity. For some people suffering from GAD, a low level of these symptoms are a constant companion from waking to going to sleep, even making sleep impossible.
The person who suffers from panic attacks does not see these simple situations or anxious feelings as normal, but views them as a signal of something very dangerous.
It is a mistake to think that people who suffer panic attacks induce these feelings or are 'mentally weak' in some way.
Nor can they just 'pull' themselves out of it, as if it is something that can just be switched off at whim. It is not unusual for a panic attack to occur while the person is asleep or they can merely imagine or anticipate an event and the panic attack can come flooding through.
Nevertheless, the long-term secret does lie in managing thought patterns and 'riding' out the panic attack physical symptoms. But this is very hard when you think you are having a heart attack and are about to die.