A panic attack is a discrete period of intense apprehension, fear, or terror that develops abruptly and that usually peaks within 10 minutes and may last 5 - 30 minutes.
In many cases, it is accompanied by a sense of doom or an urge to escape.
Panic attacks have some of the following characteristics: palpitations or accelerated heart rate, sweating, chest pain, nausea, dizziness, derealization and a sensation of tingling, burning, pricking, or numbness of the skin with no apparent long-term physical effect and often occur in a crowded public place.
An initial panic attack is generally alarming and may lead to a visit to the GP Surgery or A&E where routine labs (ECG) results are normal - the client may be told it was "nerves".
Onset typically begins in adolescents or mid 30's (79% before age 30).
72% identify a stressor leading up to the first attack.
If panics attacks reoccur, the sufferer may be referred for more extensive tests. If the medical professional still finds nothing, psychiatry may be consulted.
Panic Disorder consists of recurrent two or more unexpected panic (or anxiety) attacks accompanied by at least 1 month (or more) of persistent concern about having another attack, worry about implications of another attack, or significant behavioral change related to the attack.
Seek help if you are experiencing the symptoms of panic attack.
70%-90% of individuals with panic attacks improve with time and/or treatments.