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Self diagnosis of panic attack

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How do you know if you have a panic attack?

Category: Internal Medicine Specialist

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Category: Pediatric Neurologist
 21 Doctors Online

Hello,

Thank you for trusting DoctorSpring with your queries.

If you are looking for a 'self diagnosis' , it might be pretty difficult. But if you are looking out for someone else, the diagnosis can be suspected by the following features :

(Criteria for Panic Attack Diagnosis)

A discreet period of intense fear or discomfort, in which four (or more) of the following symptoms developed abruptly and reach a peak within 10 minutes:

1. Palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate
2. Sweating
3. Trembling or shaking
4. Sensations of shortness of breath or smothering
5. Feeling of choking
6. Chest pain or discomfort
7. Nausea or abdominal distress
8. Feeling dizzy, unsteady, lightheaded, or faint
9. Derealization (feelings of unreality) or depersonalization (being detached from oneself)
10. Fear of losing control or going crazy
11. Fear of dying
12. Paresthesias (numbness or tingling sensations)
13. Chills or hot flushes

Panic attacks are characterized by the sudden onset of intense apprehension, fear or terror, and by the abrupt development of specific somatic, cognitive, and affective symptoms.

Somatic features are the main component of the symptom. This means the individual can have signs and symptoms of a medical illness (such as chest pain). They mostly will have Agarophobia - will try to avoid crowded places and places or situations that might precipitate a panic attack. They often utilise medical services and always on their toes.

Because of this somatisation nature, the diagnosis should only be made by an expert Doctor.

Hope this helps
Please feel free to ask followup queries.
Thank you


Dr. Sudhir Kumar
Category: Pediatric Neurologist
Experience: 
Senior Residency, Fellowship: DM, Neurology, CMC, Vellore, 2001
Junior Residency: MD, Internal Medicine, CMC, Vellore, 1998
Medical School: MBBS, Christian Medical College, Vellore, 1995
Dr. Sudhir Kumar and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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