What is a Panic Attack

Panic Attack

August 22, 2010

What is a Panic Attack

A sudden onset of four out of 13 symptoms is needed to clinically diagnose an episode as a Panic Attack. In essence a panic attack is the sudden sever sense of fear or apprehension and peaks within 10 minutes.  The symptoms then go on to persist for at least 30 minutes.

While this is really the clinical definition and of common practice in describing a panic attack, it is known that panic attacks, or rather the feeling of sudden fear can be felt for as short at 30 seconds.  Symptoms also vary between the afflicted.  There are times where the symptoms oscillate between the feeling of fear and well being.

Sufferers can sometimes feel an intense fear of loss of life or a seeming cardiac arrest.  Other common complaints include intense, gripping nausea and temporary immobility.  Panic Attacks are responses to the sympathetic nervous system.


1)      Trembling

2)      heart palpitations

3)      sweating

4)      nausea

5)      dizziness

6)      vertigo

7)      hyperventilation

8)      sensation of chocking

9)      dyspnea

10)  trembling

11)  chest pain

12)  hot flashes

13)  burning sensations in back or neck