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Panic Disorder More common in girls than boys, panic disorder emerges in adolescence usually between the ages of fifteen and nineteen. Feelings of intense panic may arise without any noticeable cause or they may be triggered by specific situations, in which case they are called panic attacks. A panic attack is an abrupt episode of severe anxiety with accompanying emotional and physical symptoms.

During a panic attack, the youngster may feel overwhelmed by an intense fear or discomfort, a sense of impending doom, the fear he's going crazy, or sensations of unreality. Accompanying the emotional symptoms may be shortness of breath, sweating, choking, chest pains, nausea, dizziness, and numbness or tingling in his extremities. During an attack, some teens may feel they're dying or can't think. Following a panic attack, many youngsters worry that they will have other attacks and try to avoid situations that they believe may trigger them. Because of this fearful anticipation, the teen may begin to avoid normal activities and routines.

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