Panic Attacks and Panic Disorder

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

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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 atleast two panic attacks and lives in fear of having another, they may havepanic disorder. A panic attack can happen without an obvious cause, butpeople with panic disorder may develop phobias related to something theyassociate with panic attacks, including open spaces, and large crowds.

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

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