Do you experience sudden onsets of fearfulness or intense apprehension? When it happens, are you short of breath? Do you have heart palpitations or chest pain? You may be experiencing “panic attacks”. Let’s learn more about how professionals diagnose this disorder.
Here’s what the official “manual” of mental disorders says about panic attacks.
The essential feature of a Panic Attack is a discrete period of intesnse fear or discomfort in the absence of real danger that is accompanied by at least 4 of 13 somatic or cognitive symptoms. Symptoms can be somatic or cognitive in nature and include palpitations, sweating, trembling or shaking, sensations of shortness of breath or smonthering, feeling of choking, chest pain or discomfort, nausea or abdominal distress, dizziness or lightheadedness, derealization or depersonalization, fear of losing control or “going crazy”, fear of dying, paesthesias, and chills or hot flushes.
According to the manual, a panic attack has a sudden onsent and then builds to a peak quickly (it usually takes less than 10 minutes to build) and can often be accompanied by a sense of immediate danger or doom and an urge to escape.
Does this sound familiar to you?
Check back at this site, and we’ll discuss how professionals may treat people suffering from panic attacks.