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Health Tip: Recognizing a Panic Attack

(HealthDay News) -- A panic attack is the sudden onset of intense fear or discomfort that reaches a peak within minutes, the Anxiety and Depression Association of America says.

The association says since symptoms of a panic attack are so intense, they may mimic those of heart disease, thyroid problems, breathing disorders and other illnesses.

The ADAA says having four of more of these symptoms indicates a panic attack:

  • Palpitations, pounding heart or accelerated heart rate.

  • Sweating.

  • Trembling or shaking.

  • Sensations of shortness of breath or smothering.

  • Feelings of choking.

  • Chest pain or discomfort.

  • Nausea or abdominal distress.

  • Feeling dizzy, unsteady, light-headed or faint.

  • Chills or heat sensations.

  • Numbness or tingling sensations.

  • Fear of losing control or "going crazy."

  • Fear of dying.

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