(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.
- 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.