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Fainting, Anxiety Disorders and

Fainting (or syncope) is a transient loss of consciousness and postural tone due to a global reduction in blood flow to the brain. It has a rapid onset, a short duration (typically in the range of 20 seconds), and a spontaneous recovery. It is distinguished from longer episodes of loss of consciousness such as in coma. This entry defines the phenomenon of fainting, the context in which it is observed, and the underlying autonomic dysregulation.

Fainting can occur in the context of many conditions, such as concussions, epileptic seizures, metabolic syndrome, or intoxication. The literature specifies three types of syncopes: (1) syncope due to orthostatic hypotension, (2) cardiac (or cardiovascular) syncope, and (3) reflex (neurally mediated) syncope. Fainting in the context of anxiety disorders is an ...

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