Panic attacks are sudden feelings of extreme terror or anxiety when there is actually no clear reason or cause for these feelings.  The symptoms appear suddenly without warning, they may peak in about 10 minutes and they may last about a half an hour, but attacks can vary widely.  The symptoms of a panic attack are very scary yet they are virtually physically harmless.  Some of these symptoms can be confused with those of a heart attack so it is important to seek medical attention in order to rule out a heart attack as the cause of these symptoms. Some of the symptoms of a panic attack may include: •   Pounding heart, increased heart rate •   Feeling weak, dizzy or faint •   A strong feeling of terror, impending death or doom •   Sweating, or chills •   Shortness of breath, choking or tightness in the chest •   Tightness in the throat, difficulty swallowing •   Numbness or tingling sensation •   Nausea or abdominal distress After a panic attack, there may be a feeling of being entirely fatigued or worn out.  People who experience multiple panic attacks may become generally more anxious and fearful because they never know when the next attack will be coming.  Sufferers of multiple panic attacks may be considered to have a panic disorder. The causes of a panic disorder are unclear.  Sometimes the attacks develop along with a life changing event such as getting married, having a baby, starting or losing a job, etc.  People who suffer from a panic disorder may also be more likely to suffer symptoms of anxiety, depression or substance abuse. The attacks also seem to run in families. Panic attacks are treatable with medication or counseling either alone or in combination.  Suzanne has over 20 years experience as a counselor and sometimes uses EMDR in her treatment of panic attacks.  Please call her office in Rockville, Maryland at 301-272-1320 to learn more about how she can help.  
Panic Attacks
Suzanne Corcoran, LCSW-C, Counseling for Couples and Individuals in Rockville, Maryland