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Question:

My 29 year old son began having panic attacks 10 years ago. The frequency and intensity have gotten better in the last few years until recently when he had two attacks within 48 hours that resulted in loss of consciousness. A roomate present at the first of these said it looked like my son was having a seizure. My son is self employed in NYC and does not have insurance. First question: can panic attacks result in a seizure? And does your institution offer sliding scale assessment/treatment options? Thank you.

Answered by: John Markowitz

Panic attacks do not cause seizures, although they can make you feel lightheaded and faint. If there is a question of seizures, your son may want to get a medical checkup. Panic attacks are treatable. If your son needs treatment for panic disorder and lacks insurance, he might be interested in the psychotherapy treatment study at Cornell University Medical College funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, which provides twelve weeks of twice weekly therapy at no cost. Contact Dr. Barbara Milrod at 212 746-5868.