Media Spotlight: Panic Attacks and What To Do

May 25, 2017

One minute you’re fine, the next your heart is pounding, your palms are sweating, and you can’t catch your breath. This is what a panic attack can feel like.

“Panic attacks are extremely common,” says Emory Healthy Aging Study’s Dr. Sharon Bergquist. “These kind of episodes of extreme, overwhelming fear can often cause physical symptoms”.

So, many of us may not realize we’re having a panic attack.

“Because the first thought when you’re having trouble catching your breath, and your heart is racing, is that you’ve got a medical condition,” says Dr. Bergquist. “You think that you’ve got heart problems, or something is dreadfully wrong is going on inside your body.”

Instead, most panic attacks triggered by a sudden, severe anxiety. Some people are biologically predisposed to an anxiety disorder. Others simply become overwhelmed. But how do you stop the feeling you’re losing control?

“Start by trying to control you’re breathing,” says Dr. Bergquist.

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