Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Anxiety & Panic Disorders Health Center

Font Size
A
A
A

Panic Attacks and Panic Disorder - Symptoms

The main symptom of a panic attack is an overwhelming feeling of fear or anxiety. This feeling occurs along with physical reactions.

An attack starts suddenly and usually lasts from 5 to 20 minutes. But it may last even longer, up to a few hours. You feel most anxious about 10 minutes into the attack.

Recommended Related to Anxiety Panic

Anxiety/Panic: Resources

This nonprofit organization is dedicated to advocacy and education about anxiety disorders. This link will take you to its web site. Anxiety and Depression Association of America

Read the Anxiety/Panic: Resources article > >

It is possible to have one panic attack after another in waves for an extended period of time. This can seem like one continuous attack. But if you have continuous symptoms that don't go away within an hour, you probably aren't having a panic attack. You should seek medical care right away.

Symptoms of a panic attack may include:

The symptoms of a panic attack can be similar to those of a heart attack. Many people seek emergency medical treatment for a panic attack for this reason. If you have chest pain and other symptoms of a heart attack, get medical treatment right away. For more information, see the topic Chest Problems.

Agoraphobia

Panic attacks may begin without a trigger. Or they can be linked to certain situations, such as being in large crowds of people in restaurants or stadiums. Sometimes just knowing that you'll be in a certain situation can cause severe anxiety.

People who have panic attacks often learn to avoid situations that they fear will trigger a panic attack or situations where they will not be able to escape easily if a panic attack occurs. If this pattern of avoidance and anxiety is severe, it can become agoraphobia, an intense and irrational fear of being in public places.

Isolating yourself and avoiding social situations can interfere with your ability to work. It can also harm your relationships, especially with your family members and close friends.

Symptoms in children

Panic attacks aren't common in children or younger teens. But children who have panic disorder or panic attacks often have other symptoms in addition to those listed above.

  • They may be overly afraid of common objects such as bugs.
  • They may worry too much about monsters or about going to bed alone.
  • They may refuse to go to school or become unusually upset when they are separated from a parent.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 14, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
1
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

young leukemia patient
Article
Unhappy couple
Article
 
embarrassed woman
SLIDESHOW
clown
Quiz
 
Phobias frightened eyes
Slideshow
podium
Article
 
organize
Article
stressed boy in classroom
Article
 
Distressed teen girl in dramatic lighting
Article
man hiding with phone
Article
 
chain watch
Article
tarantula
Article