A panic attack is characterized by very intense and sudden fearaccompanied by at least four of the following symptoms:

  • Palpitations or faster heart rate
  • Dizziness, vertigo or feeling like you are fainting
  • Feeling like you are choking or running out of air
  • Nausea or upset stomach
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Chills or hot flashes
  • Fear of dying
  • Fear of going crazy or losing control of oneself
  • Sweating
  • Shaking or twitching
  • Pain or discomfort in the chest
  • Choking feeling
  • Feeling of being detached from oneself or having a sense of unreality

It is frequently associated with the feeling that a catastrophe is about to happen. The person often feels an urgent need to flee.

Panic attack may be related to phobias that occur in particular circumstances. The diagnosis will be withheld in view of their unexpected character, their repetition, the anticipated fear of having attacks that alter daily life. In particular, panic disorder can be accompanied by agoraphobia, which leads to avoidance of places or situations where escape or rescue would be difficult.