Why do my legs and hands shake when I have an anxiety attack?

I have an anxiety disorder and I do get anxiety attacks frequently. But this is very new to me. I was cooking dinner for my little brother and I. About five minutes after I finished cooking, I believe I had an anxiety attack. This one was different than any of the other ones I get. My legs felt tingly and somewhat numb, after this happened they were still shaky and my hands are shaky now.

Also, I noticed that when I have an attack, my heart will feel like it's pounding out of my chest then it'll suddenly stop, and it feels like I have no pulse. But I do.

This is new to me and I've been having attacks since I was 14, now im 18. I just find that weird.

Please help a worried girl out.

Thank you.

11 Replies

  • What I find weird is that this Community is concerned with Chronic Pain, yet you ignore at least two other Communities that specifically deal with Anxiety. I am sure you would be more likely to find the type of support you are seeking there.

  • Instead of making me feel stupid, you could of explained how to get to that specific group. I didn't know there was a specific group for anxiety. Sorry for asking about a concern.

  • That is why it is called Health Unlimited. There are Groups for all kinds of health issues.

    Look though the Communities on the title page.

  • samibvb96. Do not put yourself down. every person shares your concern and support you. You are a fine person. To look for other groups, you simply scroll down this page to the bottom, in the middle you see "community" below "directory" click it, it will display all different groups, and you can click and join in. You can join as many groups as you want to, there is no limit to it. Sometimes it is good to share with different group. It is often one person has multiple issues interact, and you may find relevant support from different groups in related issues. Of course, you are more than welcome to stay.

  • Hi there try not to get upset that you posted on the wrong group, it's easy done when you are feeling stressed and just want someone to listen. I dos it the first time I posted too not realising there were specific groups then felt so silly. As for your panic attacks , The symptoms you describe are so typical of panic attacks, I don't know of you have any coping measures yourself for when you have one ,Im not that much jel but aybe would suggest one way is to take yourself away from the area , eg take yourself from the kitchen to a quiter place and distract yourself with doing something like tidying up your wardrobe or a drawer to take your mind of it, stop you focusing on what has just happened . Hope this helps, love and hugs to you x

  • There is a really useful site 'www.nomorepanic.co.uk which has lots of resources which will explain the effects of adrenalin on your body which is what's happening to your body when you panic.

    Wishing you well,



  • Many things that can take place in the body are weird the first time round.

    There is a massive change in the body to pounding. You have adapted to that. When the pounding stops the change can be so great that that you hear nothing but silence. This is okay because the sense organs are designed in many cases to register change and respond accordingly.

    Your breathing and the way you breathe may be having an influence on giving you an anxiety disorder problems. There has been work in London on this which has shown that for some types of anxiety re-education on how to breathe better will remove the anxiety attacks and they will not return. There has been talk about physiotherapy being given to those with anxiety disorders. This may well happen one day but not just yet.

    The tingly and numbness could be the muscles constricted around nerves and blood vessels during the panic attack. You are 18 are muscles are going from the strength of a child to that of an adult. So the same muscle change in a child will not be strong enough to be noticeable. In an adult the vast increase in strength can have a noticeable effect, hence the effect on the hands and legs.

    Worth taking up something like T'ai Chi or yoga to learn about how your body functions under movement.

    Hope this helps.

  • This is a very basic human response. it is called RED ALERT or fright and flight response.Your brain is telling you that you are in serious danger, as though a big bear is running after you, so your body pours out Adrenaline which speeds every thing up. As you aren't physically running away from that bear you are very conscious of your pulse racing away and your muscles tightening up and shaking ready to sprint away. I hope you have a sympathetic GP who can reassure you and get you the correct talking therapy(commonly called counselling) You also would be helped by learning to breathe away the sensation.In a 'nutshell', sit quietly,take 2 breaths in slowly and breathe out through your mouth slowly, visualising it going out through your toes. Then count to 4 normally and repeat for at least 5 mins. That is a long time when you are feeling like that, but keep at it.If you concentrate on the breathing and say to yourself,'I am going to be OK, your pulse rate will slow down and though you may feel tired as your body has been running a marathon inside, in time you should be able to ease it more quickly.

    There is a lot of help out there. I hope you find it

  • Hello

    Try the Anxiety support page of health Unlocked I with others will see you there.

    When this happens again put the pans down if you are holding anything.

    Sit down and take several controlled deep breaths and give yourself time to recover, you do not say why you think this is happening as if you know the cause that gives you the chance to control your feelings.

    If you have not seen the GP make an appointment and explain your problem to Him/Her and something may be given to calm your situation down

    Good Luck


  • I suffer panic/anxiety as well so big hugs to you...

    One of the first questions that a doctor will ask you is

    do you panic because of your legs and arms got tingly?

    Or did you panic first, then the legs and the arms get tingly?

    It's important to pay attention to the order if you get another one.

    Treatment will depend on it. =)

    One of the best tools in my box was to be put on a medication specifically

    for panic attack/anxiety. It works. It's not a dirty little secret either. People

    say that the medicine is life changing but it's not for the occasional panic attack.

    It's for someone who has them daily or close to daily.. try to talk with

    a trained councilor in panic disorder.. they have tons of good ideas to stop

    the panic as soon as it starts.

    Lots of people get the same feelings as you described. Not all has to be treated

    with medicines but it's there if panic disrupts your life in ways that you cannot

    deal with. Your doctor can tell you more.. or even a councilor. Good luck.

  • Hi Samibvb96. The only simple treatment that I know of to recover from a panic attack is to breathe into a brown paper bag for a while. It has something to do with taking in too much oxygen when you are stressed. If you breathe into a paper bag you are cutting down the oxygen and replacing it with carbon dioxide. This can calm you down. Hope this helps.

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