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Panic Attacks

A panic attack is defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition as the sudden onset of intense fear or discomfort that peaks within several minutes. During a panic attack, a person must experience at least four distressing physical sensations or interpretations of his or her experience, including a pounding or racing heart rate, sweating, trembling, shortness of breath, sensations of choking, chest pain, nausea or abdominal distress, dizziness or faintness, chills or heat sensations, numbness or tingling, feelings of unreality or detachment, as well as fear of losing control, dying, or what affected people commonly describe as “going crazy.” Panic attacks can occur when an individual is in a calm or anxious state and can be either expected or unexpected. ...

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