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Understanding The Signs & Symptoms Of ADHD: Anxiety Attack Feels Like


Have you ever experienced standing in front of a class and all of a sudden – before you can even start to talk – you feel your heart racing? You’re starting to fall short of breath, and it feels like you’re in a really awkward situation that you’re about to pass out. If all of these circumstances ring a bell, then you’ve experienced an anxiety attack. Anxiety is associated with a feeling of nervousness or unease, which typically stems from an imminent event or a situation that has an uncertain outcome.

Anxiety can also be a sign of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). So to educate people about the existence of this condition, this article will explain what an anxiety attack is and what it really feels like. We’ve also used an account from one of our ADHD-diagnosed patients who is experiencing severe anxiety attacks.

Anxiety is not a Made-up Story

A lot of people who haven’t experienced an anxiety attack don’t take it seriously. They would rather consider it as a lame excuse for escaping from sticky situations or from mundane tasks. But to make things clear for everyone, anxiety is real, and anxiety victims are surely not faking it just to get attention or escape from awkward situations. It’s a mood disorder that triggers without further indication, and when it happens, it’s tough to explain to other people who are not even considering it a severe condition.

Anxiety Is Real

As said earlier, anxiety is a mood disorder that is also associated with ADHD. Much like ADHD, anxiety is something that cannot be directly seen or proven. Most of the time, people suffering from anxiety issues struggle to explain to other people that their sweating, trembling, or feeling of overwhelming fear are legitimate and not just some made-up fantasy.  A victim’s panic and cry for help are not made up. People should know better than to criticize these people. It’s only right for “normal” people to be aware of this condition to help them understand better their peers who have this condition.

What An Anxiety Attack Feels Like

A common misconception about an anxiety attack is that most people believe it to only happen during events when the victim is going to talk in front of a lot of people, or going to do an important task. However, it actually occurs anytime, even if the victim is not in a tight situation. This is what a typical anxiety attack feels like, coming from a person who is suffering from it and ADHD:

“It’s 4:00 in the morning. It’s still early, but I suddenly woke up from deep sleep. I sit up straight and felt like there’s something wrong with my body.

a woman in her early 20s placing her hands on the side of her head in a disturbed manner

I immediately know that it’s this monster inside me again. I start to sweat, nauseous, and feel as if someone just dumped a huge bucket full of icy water onto my chest. I feel like the coldness has spread all over my body.  My chest feels like it’s shrinking and being squeezed by an enormous hand. I feel like I’m dying.”

“I wanted to call an ambulance, but the pain is too excruciating that I can’t even move a muscle. I feel like my heart is about to shoot the roof, and my breathing is fast and short.  After 30 minutes of unease, I feel like the feeling is slowly subsiding. I’m starting to catch my breath, and my sweating has now stopped. I lie back down and fell asleep once again. Just another typical start of the day for me.”  – Anonymous, 28

Anxiety is a serious matter. 36% of people with ADHD and social anxiety disorder have reported to have experienced multiple instances of anxiety attacks. It’s real, and it should not be ignored or criticized.

a woman in her early 20s thinking deeply while gazing outside the window


We hope this article has enlightened your awareness of anxiety. Never doubt someone who suffers from symptoms that they find hard to show. We are aware that there are just some people who are dishonest. However, for those with real mental and emotional struggles, the feeling is real, and they wish that you wouldn’t feel the same way they do. They surely wouldn’t write anxiety as fiction. You should, too.

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