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Mental Health

You're Not Dying. But Panic Attacks Can Make You Think You Are.

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Wes Wshington

You're shopping for groceries. Out of the blue your heart starts to race, your knees feel weak, you feel like you can't breathe, like you might be having a heart attack. You wonder if you're losing your mind -- but you're not. You're having a panic attack. 

About 1 in 4 people have had at least one panic attack during their lives, yet few like to admit it. Because panic manifests through physical symptoms that can mimic a heart attack, a lot of people feel shame when they go to the ER and find there's nothing wrong with them. In the absence of a test that defines panic, a lot of people worry they might be losing their mind.  

Also this hour: Panic ensued in Times Square in early August when a motorcycle backfired. Fear of being caught in the crossfire of gun shots has led to a collective panic of loud noises in public places. 

We originally aired this show on September 11, 2019

GUESTS:  

  • Geraldine DeRuiter - Writer, public speaker and the author of All Over the Place: Adventures in Travel, True Love, and Petty Theft. Her blog is titled, The "Everywhereist.
  • Jacques Lamarre - Connecticut-based playwright and director of client services at BuzzEngine
  • Cara McDonough - Freelance writer who writes for several publications, including the Washington Post. Her blog is titled, “Caramcduna.”
  • David Tolin - Director, Anxiety Disorders Center & Center for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Institute of Living

Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

Colin McEnroe and Chion Wolf contributed to this show.

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