Have you ever experienced a nervous breakdown, anxiety attack, or a panic attack? The diagnostic manual (DSM-5) does not have a definition of a nervous breakdown, and it is not an official term. But it is often described as intense and overwhelming feelings of stress, anxiety, or depression which may include crying, emotional distress, feeling on edge, and physical discomfort.
Each person describing a breakdown has their own unique experience and definition. Others use the terms nervous breakdown and an anxiety attack interchangeably. An anxiety attack is another term that is not official and not part of the DSM-5 but may be describing the official term Panic Attack. A panic attack is part of the condition Panic Disorder.
So, let's talk about panic attacks and Panic Disorder. Panic Disorder falls under the category of Anxiety, which makes sense why many describe having a panic attack as an anxiety attack. Having a panic attack is overwhelming, difficult to manage, and can be debilitating. It is an abrupt surge of intense fear or discomfort. At the moment you may experience difficulty breathing, chest discomfort, or fear of losing control.
It does not matter what that official term is since you know that when you experience distress, the official word goes out the window. But having the official name and being evaluated can help to overcome the emotional distress.
Here are some symptoms of a Panic Attack:
- Accelerated heart rate
- Sensations of shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Feeling dizzy
- Chills or heat sensations
Do you have questions about panic attacks or wish to start treatment? If so we can discuss your needs by calling at 312-451-6157