Panic attacks are short bursts of intense fear often marked by increased heart rate, brief chest pain, or shortness of breath. Typically, these attacks last less than 30 minutes, and they could occur once or repeatedly. These episodes can send patients to the emergency room.
To be considered a panic attack, four or more of the following symptoms need to occur:
- Heart palpitations, pounding or accelerated heart rate, chest pains, and shortness of breath similar to heart attack symptoms
- Trembling or shaking
- Sweating or heat sensations
- Feeling of choking
- Fear of losing control
- Fear of dying
- Nausea or abdominal distress
- Feeling dizzy, unsteady, or faint
- Numbness or tingling sensation in extremities
- Derealization (feelings of unreality) or depersonalization (being detached from oneself).