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Although the exact causes of panic attacks are not known, stress, genetics and changes in brain function are thought to be possible causes. They can occur randomly with no apparent reason. A panic attack usually involves you having a feeling of being in danger, such as being chased with no outside sources causing this feeling. Panic attacks can happen once or twice in a lifetime but if they occur more regularly they may be considered a panic disorder. Typical symptoms include, sweating, increased heart rate or chest pain, trembling, chills, hyperventilation and a strong sense of impending doom. They typically last about 30 minutes but have been known to go on for several hours or a full day. Things that can contribute to panic attacks are family history, childhood trauma, traumatic events like rape, a car accident or being robbed as well as losing a loved one or just having a baby.
As with most disabilities, being under continuous medical care and therapy is crucial to your Social Security case. The best treatment regimens include seeing a Psychiatrist in conjunction with a qualified therapist on a regular basis. Generally, the doctor and therapist work together in treating the panic attacks through medication and counseling to identify the cause. Physician notes along with a treatment history and any hospitalizations as well as imaging studies like MRI’s or CT scans and blood work could help in proving your disability. Keep in mind Social Security is only concerned with how your disability affects your ability to work not the actual disability.