Anxiety/Panic Attack

Anxiety/Panic Attack: Most people experience a spontaneous attack of anxiety or panic at some point in their lives, but such terrifying attacks can be common in eating disordered patients as they grapple with extreme peaks of anxiety produced as they proceed through the refeeding process. The DSM-IV defines a panic attack as "a discrete period of intense fear or discomfort, in which four or more of the following symptoms developed abruptly and reached a peak within 10 minutes:

  1. palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate
  2. sweating
  3. trembling or shaking
  4. sensations of shortness of breath or smothering
  5. feeling of choking
  6. chest pain or discomfort
  7. nausea or abdominal distress
  8. feeling dizzy, unsteady, lightheaded, or faint
  9. de-realization (feelings of unreality) or depersonalization (being detached from oneself)
  10. fear of losing control or going crazy
  11. fear of dying
  12. paresthesisas (numbness or tingling sensations),
  13. chills or hot flushes

Anti-anxiety drugs may be prescribed to manage anxiety/panic attack.

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