Speaking from my own personal experiences with panic attacks, I can find no pattern, no warning signs, no reason for the onset. Each attack has materialized suddenly out of no where. I got a sudden foreboding sense of darkness and fear, with a racing heartbeat and dufficulty breathing, fearing I was having a heart attack and near death. Total panic with little ability to use my brain, especially with the first few attacks when I had no clue what was happening to me. As a woman who has always been at the top of my game and able to control my world, the attacks were incredibly scary and left me wondering what had happened to my body AND my mind.
Then I saw my primary, who told me I was having panic attacks. They won’t cause a heart attack but sure make you feel you are having one. She said they are common after a major surgery, especially heart surgery. I had had a TKR two weeks before my first attack. I now carry Alprazolan to control them. I rarely need it, and I believe having it available has helped calm me and prevent some attacks. I have the greatest sympathy and empathy for anyone who has ever experienced the debilitating effects of a panic attack. Truly an ugly experience. The loss of control is terrifying.