Signs & Symptoms

  • Intense fearfulness (a sense that something terrible is happening)
  • Racing or pounding heartbeat
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Shortness of breath or a feeling of being smothered
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Sense of unreality
  • Fear of dying, losing control, or losing your mind

Some individuals with panic disorder avoid places where they think panic attacks might occur, or worry about being trapped in places where help might be unavailable if an attack occurred. This behavior of worrying about certain places or avoiding them is called agoraphobia. Young people who have panic disorder with agoraphobia most often avoid places with large numbers of unfamiliar people, such as school auditoriums, large parties, and restaurants.