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Diagnostic criteria - Panic Attack

A discrete period of intense fear or discomfort, in which four (or more) of the following symptoms developed abruptly and reached 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 (p. 395)

(1994) American Psychiatric Association: Diagnostic And Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Washington, DC, American Psychiatric Association

Links to Panic Attack Disorder websites:

  • Anxiety-Panic Resource Center
  • Panic Attack Help
  • When you need to know
  • Panic Disorder: A place for support
  • Panic and Anxiety Disorders
  • The Panic Disorder Institute
  • Anxiety-Panic.Com
  • Panic Anxiety Hub, Take back the power!
  • Anxiety Disorder Association of America (ADAA)
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Treatment for Anxiety Disorders
  • Quick Facts
  • Where to Get Help
  • What are Anxiety Disorders?
  • The Two Most Important Rules About Treatment
  • What Kind of Doctor Should I See?
  • Anxious Over Anxiety: The What and Whys of Anxiety Disorder
  • Panic attacks, anxiety, shyness, phobias: Are they running your life?
  • Test Anxiety
  • Anxiety: Getting Through the Storm
  • Anxiety: Getting Through the Storm
  • Attacking Panic Attack



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    Do not panic because you find a couple of symptoms that match a specific personality disorder.
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    but what makes it a disorder is a "pervasive pattern"
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    determine if it is a specific disorder.**
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