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What are the symptoms of a panic attack?

ANSWER

Panic attacks are episodes of extreme fear often happen without warning. A panic attack means you have four or more of these symptoms:

  • Feel like you’re losing control or going crazy
  • Pounding heart
  • Sweating
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Chills or hot flashes
  • An out-of-body sensation
  • Like you’re choking
  • A fear that you’re dying
  • Tingling or numb hands, arms, feet, or legs

SOURCES:

Harvard Health Publications: “Understanding the Stress Response.”

Robertson, D. , Elsevier Academic Press, 2004. Primer on the Autonomic Nervous System, Second Edition

The BMJ : “Panic Disorder.”

Biological Psychiatry : “Do Unexpected Panic Attacks Occur Spontaneously?” “Functional t1ρ Imaging in Panic Disorder.”

Psychological Medicine : “Distinct Phasic and Sustained Brain Responses and Connectivity of Amygdala and Bed Nucleus of the Stria Terminalis During Threat Anticipation in Panic Disorder.”

The Journal of Neuroscience: “Reduced Serotonin Type 1A Receptor Binding in Panic Disorder.”

Mayo Clinic: “Panic Attacks and Panic Disorder.”

American Academy of Family Physicians: “Panic Disorder.”

Centre for Clinical Interventions (Government of Western Australia): “Panic Stations.”

National Institute of Mental Health: “Anxiety Disorders.”

Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari on June 15, 2017

SOURCES:

Harvard Health Publications: “Understanding the Stress Response.”

Robertson, D. , Elsevier Academic Press, 2004. Primer on the Autonomic Nervous System, Second Edition

The BMJ : “Panic Disorder.”

Biological Psychiatry : “Do Unexpected Panic Attacks Occur Spontaneously?” “Functional t1ρ Imaging in Panic Disorder.”

Psychological Medicine : “Distinct Phasic and Sustained Brain Responses and Connectivity of Amygdala and Bed Nucleus of the Stria Terminalis During Threat Anticipation in Panic Disorder.”

The Journal of Neuroscience: “Reduced Serotonin Type 1A Receptor Binding in Panic Disorder.”

Mayo Clinic: “Panic Attacks and Panic Disorder.”

American Academy of Family Physicians: “Panic Disorder.”

Centre for Clinical Interventions (Government of Western Australia): “Panic Stations.”

National Institute of Mental Health: “Anxiety Disorders.”

Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari on June 15, 2017

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What happens inside my body during a panic attack?

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