By Renée Grinnell

Extreme, rapid-onset fear. A normal response to crisis situations, but panic attacks can be pathological when they occur without warning or reason in an anxious individual.

Example: A fortysomething man presents with chest pain, palpitations, sweats, and normal cardiac enzymes soon after his father’s heart attack.

    Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 24 Oct 2008