1.1 Symptoms of panic
Psychiatric diagnosis involves a list of symptoms; if the patient has the required number of symptoms then they are said to have the diagnosis. You will now explore the diagnostic symptoms of panic attack according to DMS-5.
Activity 2 Symptoms of panic attacks
From the following list, select the options which you think might be symptoms of panic attacks, according to DSM-5. You are not expected to have any pre-existing knowledge of these; rather, the aim of the exercise is instead to get you thinking about what you might already know (e.g. from media reports) about panic attacks.
Feeling on the verge of tears
Palpitations, pounding heart or accelerated heart rate
Trembling or shaking
Sensations of shortness of breath or smothering
Feeling of choking
Chest pain or discomfort
Nausea or abdominal distress
Feeling an urge to talk really fast
Feeling dizzy, unsteady, lightheaded or faint
Derealisation (feelings of unreality) or depersonalisation (feelings of being detached from oneself)
Fear of dying
Fear of losing control or going crazy
Feeling really afraid
Paraesthesia (numbness or tingling sensations)
Chills or heat sensations
The correct answers are b, c, d, g, h, j, k, m, o, p, r, t and u.
Were you surprised by any of the right or wrong answers? (For example, that feeling panicky is not on the symptom list?) Note too that the symptoms are a mix of unpleasant bodily sensations (shaking, heart beating fast, sweating, feeling faint), feelings and thoughts (fear you are dying or going crazy).
The ‘right’ answers are those as defined by DSM5, but there is a lot of debate about whether the list of symptoms is ‘right’ or appropriate and that individual experiences can be quite different.