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Panic Disorder

Panic Disorder involves sudden and repeated panic attacks that usually peak within several minutes. The panic attacks often feel like real medical emergencies, such as a heart attack or even dying, and often lead to seeking immediate medical help. A key feature of panic disorder is fear of having another panic attack. Much thought goes into anticipating when and where the next panic attack will occur followed by precautions to reduce the risk, overplanning, reassurance-seeking, and/or avoidance altogether. At first, panic attacks may occur suddenly and without warning; however, over time, triggering situations, places and activities usually become clearer. Places or activities where panic attacks have occurred in the past are typically avoided or endured with significant distress and anxiety.

Panic Attack Symptoms

  • rapid heart beat

  • chest pain or pressure

  • trembling, shaking or numbness in limbs

  • dizziness or lightheadedness

  • racing thoughts or difficulty concentrating

  • rapid breathing or shortness of breath

  • sweating

  • feeling hot or cold

  • tightness in the throat

  • headache or migraine

  • nausea or vomiting

  • upset stomach or diarrhea

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