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What are the symptoms and biological foundations of panic?

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AE 105878/Xenia Jones

Panic is an extreme and sudden wave of fear that strikes people so intensely it takes over logic and reason pushing those under it to a flight-or-fight response, agitation and deep anxiety. We often say 'people are panicking' if they are being illogical and agitated when faced with an overwhelming circumstance (i.e. consider a person with intense fear of spiders in a room with a tarantula - the feeling panic is intensified by fright). When people are in deep fear of something, often for their lives - it results to a frenzied reaction of fleeing as exemplified in disaster videos (i.e. the panic of the Japanese in real-life videos due to the sudden flood and earthquake that affected Fukushima last year, for example).

Often, people who are in a state of panic experience shortness of breath, intense fear of death, of losing control and at the same time, tightness of chest, dizziness, increased heart rate, sweating, numbness, paresthesias, choking sensations and chest pain. Some may blackout and faint. ...

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