Panic attacks are your body's fight or flight response to fear. Thousands of years ago when we had to hunt for food our fight or flight response was crucial for survival when we would face all sorts of dangers in the wild. Our hearts would beat faster ensuring the blood was getting to our vital organs our senses would increase and we would become more sensitive to sound and light we would have a feeling of detachment allowing us to prepare for our escape route our breathing rate would increase allowing us to get more air into our lungs and many other physical symptoms that you associate with panic would occur for the number one priority survival.
Fast forward to modern day and we do not have the same dangers, however our fight or flight response is still as active as ever, the major flaw with our fight or flight system is that it can be kick started from just the perception of fear this isn't as helpful when we find ourselves panicking in situations that are not dangerous, we often feel overwhelmed by the symptoms of panic attacks and it is very common for one to then have a fear of having another panic attack. When this occurs this is called a panic disorder. Panic disorders can have a detrimental effect on our day to day living and need to be addressed as failure to do so can lead to agoraphobia.