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Panic Attacks and Disorders

Panic attacks are brief episodes of extreme fear. They may be mistaken for heart attacks or
strokes, but are actually psychological rather than physical. Panic attacks can occur
suddenly and usually peak within ten minutes. Most panic attacks end within 20 to 30
minutes.

Some symptoms include:

  • Chills
  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Chest pain
  • Palpitations
  • Shaking
  • Feelings of suffocation

Sometimes panic attacks are isolated incidents, but if a person has had at least two panic
attacks and lives in fear of having another, they may have panic disorder. A panic attack can
happen without an obvious cause, but people with panic disorder may develop phobias
related to something they associate with panic attacks, including open spaces, and large
crowds.

Panic disorder is classified as an anxiety disorder, and like other forms of anxiety, it is
commonly treated with a combination of therapy, medications, and healthy lifestyle
changes. Anxiety patients are also encouraged to do breathing exercises, get regular
exercise, and to avoid stimulants.

Sometime panic attacks are caused by fear of having a panic attack. Hospital Emergency
Rooms often admit people who are having a panic attack but think that they are dying.

If you or someone you know is suffering from a panic disorder or panic attacks, feel free to
call me at 239-596-8081 for more information on how I can help find coping skills and
navigate through the emotion.