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Panic Attack

Panic is typically defined as acute anxiety, terror, and or fright that is usually of immediate and sudden onset. The panic feels uncontrollable to the one experiencing it. Panic attacks are considered to be more acute and intense than general panic.

Panic Attack Symptoms

Typically a person diagnosed with panic attack will need to show four of the following symptoms. These symptoms initiate quickly, without reasonable stimulus, and peak at around 10 minutes:

  • Palpitations: The experience of intensely feeling one’s own heart beating as if it was to beet out of one’s chest.
  • Sweating
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Sensations of shortness of breath or a sense of being smothered
  • Feeling of choking
  • Chest pain or discomfort in the chest
  • Nausea or abdominal distress
  • Dizziness or light headedness
  • Feeling of unreality or being detached from oneself
  • Felling of losing control or going crazy
  • Fear of dying
  • Paresthesia: numbness or tingling sensation, particularly in the arms and lets
  • Chills or hot flushes
  • Feeling of imminent danger
  • Feeling of impending doom and an urge to escape

How do you help someone experiencing a panic attack?

Allow the individual to express their anxiety, and to release energy. Be cautious to provide a safe environment where the individual will be safe from harm. A gentle and calm attitude will help the person work through the acute attack.

Posted by Staff at March 23, 2006 1:10 AM

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Comments Archive

I have panic thoughts to the point of not driving any more. We moved to a new state, and I have just given up....but every time I leave the house to go with someone I'm afraid something will happen to the person driving and I will have to drive and to top it off I am completely turned around all the time....fear of being lost. Help

Posted by: sharon at June 7, 2006 8:39 PM