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Panic Attacs

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Title: Panic Attacks

Topic: Understanding Panic Attacks, who it affects, and treatment

General Purpose: To inform

Specific Purpose: I want to inform my audience about the nature, extent, and symptoms of panic attacks.


I. Attention Getting Device: I can't breathe, my arms are feeling tingling, I'm really dizzy, and it feels as if my heart is about to jump out of my chest.

II. We all experience some sort of panic or anxiety at least once in our lives. When this happened to me six years ago at a wedding that I was attending, I was really scared.

A. At the time, I had no idea what was going on. I felt as though the world was closing in on me.

B. My doctor told me later that I had experienced a panic attack.

III. Thesis: I have learned a lot about my condition during the past six years, and I did additional research for this speech.

IV. Preview of main points: Today I would like to inform you about the nature of panic attacks, the people affected most often by them, and the options for treatment.


I. Main point: Panic attacks are a severe medical condition with a number of physical and mental symptoms.

A. Support: As defined by the National Institute of Mental Health, panic attacks involve "unexpected and repeated episodes of intense fear accompanied by physical symptoms."

1. The attacks usually come out of nowhere and strike when least expected.

2. Their length can vary from a few minutes to several hours.

B. Support: There are a number of symptoms common to most panic attacks.

1. Physical symptoms include a pounding heart, shortness of breath, lightheadedness, and numbness or tingling sensations in the arms and legs.

2. Mental symptoms include acute fear, a sense of disaster or helplessness, and a feeling of being detached from one's own body.

II. Main Point: Panic attacks affect millions of people.

A. Support: According to the American Psychiatric Association, six million Americans suffer from panic attacks.

B. Support: Some groups have a higher incidence of panic attacks than do other groups.

1. The National Institute of Mental Health reports that panic attacks strike women twice as often as men.

2. Half the people who suffer from panic attacks develop symptoms before



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