What are anxiety attacks? (otherwise known as panic attacks)
According to the American Psychiatric Association (1994), a panic attack is a period of intense fear or discomfort and consists of 4 or more of the symptoms listed below. Panic attacks have an abrupt onset and the symptoms peak within 10 minutes.
What are the symptoms of a panic attack?
Panic symptoms include:
- trembling or shaking
- shortness of breath
- choking sensations
- chest pain or discomfort
- feeling detached from oneself
- fear of losing control or dying
- numbness or tingling
- chills or hot flushes
- thoughts of contamination (e.g. ‘Will I catch AIDS from shaking hands?’)
- repeated doubts (e.g. ‘Did I leave the door unlocked, Did I turn off the light’)
- need for orderliness (e.g. get distressed when pictures are crooked, objects are untidy)
- aggressive impulses (e.g....