With panic attacks, you may feel extreme fear, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, and a sense of doom. Typically, panic attacks are short in duration and may be related to specific triggers. Sometimes they seem to occur spontaneously. Since the attacks can be so terrifying, a common side effect is the reduction of your normal activities, to limit the potential of recurring panic. Unfortunately, this avoidance or “fear of fear” typically makes the problems worse. Not surprisingly, close to 70% of people who suffer with panic attacks also have symptoms of depression. The good news is that panic attacks are one of the mental health problems most responsive to counselling.