Panic Attack

A panic attack, also called a panic disorder, can either be triggered or can occur unexpectedly. Unexpected panic attacks can happen without warning and be quite overwhelming. Thus, teens with panic attack symptoms are often unaware of the causes.

What Is a Panic Attack?

A panic attack is an intense behavioral reaction associated with an anxiety disorder. A person with panic disorder typically experiences extreme panic attacks. Severely unpleasant and frightening, panic attacks often have no obvious trigger. Given the lack of signs of panic attack, people afflicted by repeated panic attacks become overly worried about having another. Therefore, they tend to actively avoid places that feel connected to past panic attacks.

Panic attacks last on average for about 30 minutes. Panic attack symptoms include trembling or shaking, abdominal distress, pounding heart, and shortness of breath, to the point of choking. Often fearing that they are completely losing control, many people do not realize that panic disorder is treatable.

There is no single risk factor for panic attacks. However, through a combination of evidence-based treatment modalities, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, panic attacks can be effectively managed and eventually overcome.

Sources: Anxiety and Depression Association of AmericaSubstance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

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