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Panic Attack Symptoms

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Symptoms of a Panic Attack

A panic attack is an sudden episode of intense anxiety and fear that often occurs for seemingly no apparent reason.  They are characterized by severe physical reactions, mounting nervousness, and feelings of  discomfort.  It typically reaches its peak within minutes.  One can feel that they are losing control and it can be a truly frightening experience.

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, better known as the DSM IV, the following are the symptoms of a panic attack:

  • Palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Sensations of shortness of breath or smothering
  • Feeling of choking
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Nausea or abdominal distress
  • Feeling dizzy, unsteady, lightheaded, or faint
  • Derealization (feelings of unreality) or depersonalization (being detached from oneself)
  • Fear of losing control or going crazy
  • Fear of dying
  • Paresthesias (numbness or tingling sensations)
  • Chills or hot flushes

If you experience 4 or more of these symptoms, you may suffer from panic attacks.

5 Most Common Symptoms of an Anxiety Attack

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