James Hicks, M.D., 50 SIGNS OF MENTAL ILLNESS (Yale University Press)

Dr. James Hicks
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This wasn't the first time, you tell the emergency room doctor. The first attack came on when you were shopping at the mall. Suddenly you started to sweat, and your pulse was racing. You were on the verge of passing out, but somehow you got outside and felt better in the cold open air. You thought it was over.

Tonight you were celebrating after the football game. You were smoking with some friends when, suddenly, your chest started to hurt. Your heartbeat was pounding. You're twenty-five and in good shape, but isn't that what a heart attack is like? Your head was throbbing and you slipped to the floor. Your friends got you into the car, but you don't remember much else.

You're starting to feel a little better now, but you are scared. Are you going to die, you wonder? Or are you going crazy?

This chapter covers the following topics:

  • Panic
  • Panic Can Occur in Several Different Illnesses
  • How to Cope with Panic Attacks


This excerpt may not be reproduced without written permission from the publishers.
Fifty Signs of Mental Illness: A Guide to Understanding Mental Health
Yale University Press / New Haven and London
Copyright © 2005 by James Whitney Hicks

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