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Symptoms and Signs of Panic Attack Triggers, Causes, Treatment Medications, and Home Care

Doctor's Notes on Panic Attack Triggers, Causes, Treatment Medications, and Home Care

Panic attacks are a symptom of an anxiety disorder, which include a discrete period of intense fear, distress, nervousness, or discomfort. Panic attacks can be frightening but are fortunately not physically harmful. They can occur suddenly, unexpectedly, unprovoked, and can be disabling. Panic attacks may occur for no known reason or after a person is exposed "trigger". They can intensity to a peak rapidly and also go away with or without medical intervention.

Symptoms of panic attacks may include palpitations, pounding heart, fast heart rate, sweating, trembling and shaking, sensations of shortness of breath or smothering, feelings of choking, chest pain or discomfort, nausea, upset stomach, dizziness, unsteadiness, lightheadedness, fainting, feelings of unreality or being detached from oneself, fear of losing control or going crazy, fear of dying, numbness or tingling sensations, chills, or hot flashes.

Medical Author: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.