What Causes Panic Attacks, and How Can You Prevent Them?

Countless poets and writers have tried to put words to the experience of a panic attack— a sensation so overwhelming, many people mistake it for a heart attack, stroke, or other life-threatening crisis. Studies suggest that almost a third of us will experience at least one panic attack in our lives. So what exactly is a panic attack, and can we prevent them? Cindy J. Aaronson investigates.