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Panic Disorder Symptoms & Diagnosis

Symptoms

Panic attacks usually occur unexpectedly and repeatedly. They include many of the following symptoms:

  • Sudden and intense episodes of fear
  • Racing, pounding, or skipping heartbeat
  • Chest pain, pressure, or discomfort
  • Difficulty catching breath
  • Choking sensation or lump in the throat
  • Excessive sweating
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Tingling or numbness in parts of the body
  • Chills or hot flashes
  • Shaking or trembling
  • Feelings of unreality, or being detached from the body
  • An urge to flee
  • Fear of impending doom, such as death, a heart attack, suffocation, loss of control, or embarrassment
  • Stomach pain

Panic Attack/Anxiety Symptoms

Physical reaction anxiety
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Diagnosis

The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, and perform a physical exam. Since some panic disorder symptoms are similar to heart, digestive, and/or thyroid problems, a physical exam and tests can rule out physical causes of your symptoms.

Tell your doctor about your physical symptoms and how the symptoms make you feel. Your doctor will want to know if your attacks keep you from your normal activities. You should also tell your doctor if you:

  • Have been feeling sad or hopeless
  • Have been drinking or using drugs to control symptoms

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2019 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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