Panic attack

What is a panic attack?

A panic attack is a sudden increase in anxiety and accompanied by a number of physical symptoms such as palpitations, breathlessness or dizziness. Panic disorder describes the condition where someone has recurrent panic attacks, including panicking about having a panic attack. Panic attacks are often experienced by people with agoraphobia, which is a fear of people in public and crowded places where the individual feels unsafe.

People who get panic attacks are misinterpreting their bodily sensations of anxiety as forecasting an imminent mental or physical catastrophe.

Symptoms

Any or all of the following:

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