Health Tip: Recognizing a Panic Attack

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(HealthDay News) -- A panic attack is the sudden onset of intense fear or discomfort that reaches a peak within minutes, the Anxiety and Depression Association of America says.

The association says since symptoms of a panic attack are so intense, they may mimic those of heart disease, thyroid problems, breathing disorders and other illnesses.

The ADAA says having four of more of these symptoms indicates a panic attack:

  • Palpitations, pounding heart or accelerated heart rate.
  • Sweating.
  • Trembling or shaking.
  • Sensations of shortness of breath or smothering.
  • Feelings of choking.
  • Chest pain or discomfort.
  • Nausea or abdominal distress.
  • Feeling dizzy, unsteady, light-headed or faint.
  • Chills or heat sensations.
  • Numbness or tingling sensations.
  • Fear of losing control or "going crazy."
  • Fear of dying.

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