People with panic attack disorder have sudden and repeated attacks of fear that last for several minutes. Sometimes attack symptoms may last longer. These are called panic attacks. Panic attack is characterized by a fear of disaster or of losing control even when there is no real danger. A person may also have a strong physical reaction during a panic attack. It may feel like having a heart attack. Panic attack disorder can occur at any time, and many people with panic disorder worry about and dread the possibility of having another attack.
A person with panic attack disorder may become discouraged and feel ashamed because he or she cannot carry out normal routines like going to the grocery store or driving. Having panic disorder can also interfere with school or work.