What is a panic attack exactly? People often blithely say ‘’Oh my God I had such a terrible panic attack’’ when referring to something not nearly so dramatic. It is so overwhelming physically and frightening that it is hard to describe unless you have experienced it. I thought I was going to die when it first happened and had to go to A&E where I was given a sedative. The heart starts to race and pump violently. There is dizziness. There is sweating. There is confusion. There is loss of breath. I have even fainted. Ten years on and I can still be blindsided by a panic attack…

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