A panic attack is a sudden feeling of extreme anxiety.
Symptoms include feelings of dying or losing control of oneself, rapid
breathing (hyperventilation), and a racing heart.
A person having
a panic attack may feel dizzy, sweaty, or shaky. Other symptoms include
trouble breathing, chest pain or tightness, and an irregular
A panic attack can be triggered by a stressful event, or
it can occur unexpectedly. An attack starts suddenly and usually lasts from
5 to 20 minutes but may last even longer, up to a few hours. You have the most
anxiety about 10 minutes after the attack starts. Panic attacks can be
successfully treated with counseling and medicine.
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Lisa S. Weinstock, MD - Psychiatry