What are panic attacks?
Panic attacks occur when a person is struck with a sudden feeling of terror. These attacks are characterized by the individual’s disproportionate reaction to the situation at hand. Individuals suffering from panic attacks may feel they are going insane or suffering a heart attack or other serious physical ailment. Episodes can arise at any time, even during sleep.
Panic attacks are usually brief in nature, but lingering symptoms may persist longer than the attack itself. The panic disorder develops when a person experiences repeated panic attacks and lives in a state of constant anxiety, wondering when the next episode will occur.
Are panic attacks common?
Panic attacks are fairly common when compared to some other ailments. It is estimated that each year, over 10% of adult Americans experience a panic attack. Around 2-3% of these individuals will go on to develop panic disorder.