Counseling Services

Resources For Returning War Veterans

Panic Attacks

When troops return home, they may find great difficulty in adjusting to a more peaceful environment. Panic attacks may be triggered suddenly by sights and sounds that even remotely resemble war-time conditions.

A panic attack involves a sudden and intense fear or discomfort in the absence of real danger. Panic attacks may be unexpected, or brought on by an environmental trigger. Sometimes, the person experiencing the attack may be able to link the episode to a trigger. In an unexpected attack, the person experiencing the panic may not be able to link the attack to any trigger.

Common symptoms of panic attacks include the following:

  • Accelerated heartbeat
  • Sweating
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Shortness of breath or feeling of suffocation
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Fear of death or losing control, "going crazy"
  • Tingling in the fingers and toes

If you are experiencing panic attacks, please visit with a counselor at Winthrop's Counseling Services.

Resource: San Diego State University: Student Veterans