Panic Disorders and Attacks: Symptoms and Causes

Florida Psychiatrists


Panic attacks can be terrifying to go through, and being diagnosed with a panic disorder can make you believe they’ll never stop. While panic attacks aren’t dangerous, they can still be extremely harmful. If you believe you may be suffering from panic attacks or a panic disorder you may be interested in some of the common symptoms and causes.



Panic attacks can occur at any time, without warning. If you have a panic disorder you could experience them frequently or only occasionally. Symptoms can vary per person, and per panic attack. You may never have the same set of symptoms no matter how many panic attacks you have. This can make it more complicated to identify when one is experiencing a panic attack then.

The most common symptoms of panic attacks include:

  • Sense of impending danger or doom
  • Fear of death or loss of control
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Shaking
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chills
  • Hot flashes
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Feeling detached



Doctors still aren’t entirely sure what causes panic attacks or panic disorders. It’s believed that these factors may play a role:

  • Genetics
  • Major Stress
  • Temperament (Sensitivity to stress or prone to negative emotions)
  • Changes in the way parts of the brain function
  • Fight or flight response


It’s a good idea to get checked out by a doctor after experiencing a panic attack just to rule out any physical ailments. They should also be able to direct you to a psychiatrist that can begin treatment. Panic attacks rarely go away on their own, and they will keep occurring without help. Luckily, one of Florida’s top psychiatrists can help.

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