What is a panic attack?

Palo Alto Health Sciences is starting a blog series about panic attacks, panic disorder, and panic-related conditions. Let’s begin by getting all of us on the same page by defining the panic attack.  Panic attacks have three distinct characteristics:  1.  An abrupt surge of fear that ordinarily will last for 10 to 30 minutes, 2.  A variety of intense and unpleasant physical symptoms, and 3.  Fearful psychological experiences related to the attack.

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