(HealthDay News) -- A panic attack is the sudden onset of intense fear or discomfort that reaches a peak within minutes, the Anxiety and Depression Association of America says.
The association says since symptoms of a panic attack are so intense, they may mimic those of heart disease, thyroid problems, breathing disorders and other illnesses.
The ADAA says having four of more of these symptoms indicates a panic attack:
Palpitations, pounding heart or accelerated heart rate.
Trembling or shaking.
Sensations of shortness of breath or smothering.
Feelings of choking.
Chest pain or discomfort.
Nausea or abdominal distress.
Feeling dizzy, unsteady, light-headed or faint.
Chills or heat sensations.
Numbness or tingling sensations.
Fear of losing control or "going crazy."
Fear of dying.