Describe the clinical presentation of someone suffering from a panic disorder.

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kipling2448 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The clinical symptoms often associated with a panic attack are accelerated heart beat, dizziness, excessive sweating, breathing difficulties, and feelings of helplessness.  Psychiatrists who diagnose panic disorder in a patient will work with that person on ways to better acclimate to whatever the circumstances are that trigger the symptoms.  For example, people who have a fear of flying, which usually manifests itself in panic attacks, are slowly eased into the airplane environment until they are able to fly without an attack.  Similarly, patients who experience panic attacks in crowds are slowly acclimated to that type of environment.

In addition to exercises designed to help people with panic disorders better cope in the surroundings that trigger attacks, medications are frequently prescribed to alleviate the symptoms.

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