Panic attacks are a state of sympathetic nervous system arousal that results in a discrete episode of intense fear or discomfort in the absence of objective danger. This fear is accompanied by a host of somatic and cognitive symptoms. Symptoms include tachycardia (i.e., racing heart), sweating, palpitations, trembling, dyspnea (i.e., shortness of breath), feelings of being smothered or feelings of choking, nausea, chest pain, abdominal distress, dizziness, light headedness, derealization or depersonalization, numbness or tingling in the face or extremities, chills or hot flushes, fear of “going crazy,” fear of losing control, or fear of death from such an episode. Individuals must report experiencing at least 4 of the 13 possible somatic and cognitive symptoms. These aforementioned symptoms typically peak in intensity over a short period of time (i.e., 10 min or less). If individuals report experiencing excessive fear but manifest fewer than four...
References and Readings
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