A panic attack is a condition whereby an individual experience an acute increase in physiological symptoms that are triggered by anxiety and mirror the flight, fright or fight response. Increases in adrenaline lead to a raised heartbeat, shortness of breath, and a feeling similar to a heart attack- swirling anxiety, loss of control, nausea, numbness, chest pain, sweating and trembling. Although the physical symptoms mimic serious health conditions, a panic attack will subside, as the adrenaline wears off.
Treatment may include anti-anxiety medication, anti-depressants, therapy, or a combination. Many people will experience a panic attack, it is quite common, however, it is difficult to diagnose, and medical intervention is important- as the symptoms are very similar to heart problems. Treatment of panic attacks is very successful. A doctor will perform a physical exam to rule out physical problems, and work with a trained therapist, to evaluate the individual's needs, and prescribe medications.