A panic attack is an intense wave of fear characterized by its unexpectedness and debilitating, immobilizing intensity. Regardless of the cause, panic attacks are treatable. The signs and symptoms of a panic attack develop abruptly and usually reach their peak within 10 min. Panic attack symptoms may include hyperventilation, heart racing, chest pain, and trembling, sweating, and dizziness, with a fear of losing control, going crazy, or dying. Although the exact causes of panic attacks and panic disorder are unclear, the tendency to have panic attacks runs in families. There also appears to be a connection with major life transitions and severe stress. Treatment for panic attacks and panic disorder include psychotherapy and medication.
Part of the book: Psychopathology