Stress Q&A by Dr. Stöppler

Does stress cause panic attacks?


Panic attacks may occur alone of as part of a panic or anxiety disorder. In a panic attack, one experiences terror, fear, and a sense of loss of control. The symptoms may last for only a few seconds or for several minutes. Many people who have had panic attacks report a racing heartbeat, dizziness, shortness of breath, and a fear of impending death during the attacks. Panic attacks can follow upsetting or stressful situations, and stress does seem to be related to panic attacks in many people.

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Last Editorial Review: 1/2/2007

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