Panic attack: the symptoms

Panic attack or panic disorder: what are the symptoms? The panic attack is defined by a set of symptoms.

Physical symptoms:

  • palpitations
  • nausea
  • tremors
  • sweats
  • Feeling of choking, tightness or chest pain, dizziness
          In fact, an acute anxiety attack can mimic many somatic pathologies (examples: myocardial infarction, asthma, hypoglycemia, etc.). This diagnosis can only be retained after having been certain that all the possible physical causes have been well researched, and discarded.
          An electrocardiogram and a biological assessment are therefore often mandatory.

    Psychological symptoms:

    • Feelings of transformation of oneself, of one's body (depersonalization) but also of the environment (derealization) which are very distressing
    • The impression of imminent danger, with the fear of dying or becoming crazy
    • A behavioral dimension, with these symptoms: a need to flee, to leave a place quickly, or to go out to get some fresh air

    Symptoms of panic disorder

    It is defined by the repetition of panic attacks in the same subject. But also by the presence of other symptoms caused by the recurrence of anxiety attacks:

    • "Afraid to be afraid" or anticipatory anxiety. The "panicter" anticipates the next crisis.
    • Fear of the consequences of a crisis: heart problem, going crazy, fear of dying, etc.
    • Changes in behavior of the patient who is afraid of a new crisis and reorganizes his life in order to escape his disorder.

    The association with an agoraphobia (fear of large spaces and public places) can be at the origin of a socioprofessional disability.

    This disorder can also be complicated by depression, alcohol abuse or tranquillizers.

    Want to react, share your experience or ask a question? Appointment in our FORUMS Psychology, Anxiety and Stress or A psychiatrist answers you !

    Read also :

    Social phobia
    Go see a shrink: how to find the right?
    Treat your depression without medication
    Nighttime anguish and death anxiety

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