Encyclopedia Article


An overwhelming feeling of anxiety, often accompanied by feelings of fear, nervousness, and even dread. When one feels panic, two primary survival impulses manifest in the individual: the impulse to fight for survival, or the impulse to flee, to run away in order to survive. The fight-or-flight syndrome can be very strong, just as panic itself can be overwhelming, leading to irrational, wild, and spontaneous behavior. Strong feelings of panic can be controlled by the mind, by deep breathing, and sometimes by pharmaceutical substances, depending upon the individual and the situtation.

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"Panic attack in a red hood, December 7, 2006" by Natalia Rivera is licensed under CC BY.

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