Panic Attacks

What is a Panic Attack?

As panic attack symptoms are so severe, many people who experience a panic attack describe them to something similar as having a heart attack or other life-threatening illness. Panic attacks may be expected, such as a response to a feared object, or unexpected, apparently occurring for no reason. Panic attacks may occur with other mental disorders such as depression or PTSD. The core symptom of panic disorder is recurrent panic attacks, an overwhelming combination of physical and psychological distress.

Signs and Symptoms of Panic Attacks

During an attack several of these symptoms occur in combination:

  • Palpitations, pounding heart or rapid heart rate
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Chest pain
  • Feeling of choking
  • Chills or hot flashes
  • Feeling detached
  • Fear of dying

  • Sweating
  • Feeling of shortness of breath or smothering sensations
  • Feeling dizzy, light-headed or faint
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Nausea or abdominal pains
  • Fear of losing control

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