PANIC ATTACKS: Without treatment, panic disorders can be extremely detrimental to a person's social and family relationships and work. About 30% turn to alcohol, 17% turn to self prescribed drugs, about 50% experience clinical depression and about 20% attempt suicide at some point in their lives. Panic attacks typically start in the 20's and women are affected about twice as much as men. They are defined by a sudden rush of fear and a variety of symptoms such as shortness of breath, dizziness, chest pain, numbness, feeling of doom and an urge to flee. "Someone with a panic disorder is often preoccupied with and fearful of any body symptoms and fearful of going into a specific situation" said a psychiatrist. Symptoms may be relieved by breathing, restraining and stimulus awareness. Patients may also benefit from exercise. Said a researcher, "if I had to chose a single treatment to stop or forestall a panic attack, it would be exercise."

Also call 1 800 64- PANIC for free info. All callers receive 20 page book called Understanding Panic Disorder and an Anxiety Disorders resource booklet.