Kathi Whitten, LCSW - Individual, Couple & Family Psychotherapy
  • Panic Attacks
  • Agoraphobia
  • (Other) specific phobias
  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Acute Stress Disorder
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Tend to be confused sometimes with other medical problems (especially heart attacks) and for that reason they should always be checked out by a doctor. The chief symptoms that occur during a panic attack might be some combination of the following:

  • Palpitations or a pounding heart
  • Sweating
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Sensations of shortness of breath or smothering
  • Feeling of choking
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Nausea or abdominal distress
  • Feeling dizzy, unsteady, lightheaded or faint
  • Feelings of unreality or feeling detached from oneself
  • Fear of losing control or going crazy
  • Fear of dying
  • Numbness or tingling sensations
  • Chills or hot flushes
(Source: DSM IV)

  • Obsessions or compulsions that involve thoughts, images or impulses that feel inappropriate, and can be acknowledged as being intrusive, but are not excess worry from real-life situations.
  • The person makes attempts through actions or thoughts to neutralize them or make them go away
  • The person recognizes that the impulses, images or thoughts come from within their own mind
  • There can be repetitive acts or thoughts (such as hand washing, checking, or counting or praying) that the person feels driven to do to cope with the thoughts, images or impulses
(Source: DSM IV)

  • Condition in which a person has been exposed to a traumatic event in which s/he witnesses, experiences or is confronted with an event or events that involved actual or threatened death or serious injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of self or others, and the person’s response involved intense fear, helplessness or horror.
  • It tends to be reexperienced through recurrent thoughts, distressing recollections or even dreams of the event
  • The person may feel as though the event is recurring in the present time
  • The person may experience great distress at exposure to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event
  • The person may avoid things (or activities or places) that remind them of the event
  • The person may feel estranged or distant from others, and may not show much emotion
(Source: DSM IV)

  • Excessive anxiety and worry
  • Difficulty controlling the worry
  • The anxiety or worry are associated with some combination of the following:
  • Restlessness, feeling on edge
  • Being easily fatigued
  • Difficulty concentrating or mind going blank
  • Irritability
  • Muscle tension
  • Sleep disturbance
(Source: DSM IV)