Show Summary Details
Page of

Panic, Ictal Fear, and Hyperventilation 

Panic, Ictal Fear, and Hyperventilation
Chapter:
Panic, Ictal Fear, and Hyperventilation
Author(s):

Martin Schöndienst

and Katrin Lindemann

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199796793.003.0005
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD MEDICINE ONLINE (www.oxfordmedicine.com). © Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Medicine Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 03 December 2021

This chapter begins with an examination of Gowers’ attempt to describe “vagal and vaso-vagal attacks” – panic attacks in today’s diagnostic classifications – and his difficulties with concisely delineating a condition, which is now thought of as a “mental” disorder. Given that the interrelations between panic, hyperventilation and ictal fear are diverse and have to be explored clinically on a case-by-case basis, we then use several case reports to demonstrate how diagnostic access can be gained and how this relates to therapeutic dimensions. In the borderland of these conditions, every patient represents a ‘special scenario’ with idiosyncratic transitions between anxiety and epilepsy and sometimes hyperventilation, making it indispensable to consider every patient’s individual subjective symptoms. We illustrate this approach by working with short extracts from doctor-patient interactions. Patients’ own descriptions of their subjective experiences usually allow a clear definition of the idiosyncratic aspects of their condition. We then discuss the pathophysiological mechanisms of the different disorders. Further case reports highlight situations in which panic and hyperventilation are tightly interwoven with epileptic seizures. Our chapter concludes with suggestions for the management of this clinical scenario.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Medicine Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.