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Limited symptom attack

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A limited symptom attack (LSA), also referred to as a limited symptom panic attack (LPA), is a milder, less comprehensive form of panic attack, with fewer than four panic related symptoms being experienced (APA 1994). For example, a sudden episode of intense dizziness or trembling accompanied by fear that something terrible is about to happen. Many people with panic disorder have a mixture of full blown and limited symptom attacks. LSAs often manifest in anxiety disorders, phobias, panic disorder and agoraphobia. However, experiencing an LSA is not necessarily indicative of mental illness. Often persons recovering from or being treated for panic attacks and panic disorder will experience LSAs.


According to the DSM-IV, during an LSA, fewer than four of the following symptoms would be experienced, in contrast to a full blown panic attack, which must include four or more symptoms.


As with a panic attack, an LSA typically peaks in 10 minutes. However, attacks can be as short as one to five minutes or can form a series of episodes waxing and waning for a period of hours.


  • Shioiri T, Someya T, Fujii K, Noguchi T, Takahashi S (April 1997). "Differences in symptom structure between panic attack and limited symptom panic attack: a study using cluster analysis". Psychiatry Clin. Neurosci. 51 (2): 47–51. doi:10.1111/j.1440-1819.1997.tb02906.x. PMID 9141140. S2CID 7760416.
  • Katerndahl DA (1999). "Progression of limited symptom attacks". Depress Anxiety. 9 (3): 138–40. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1520-6394(1999)9:3<138::AID-DA7>3.0.CO;2-4. PMID 10356653. Archived from the original on 2012-12-10.
  • Anxiety B.C.
  • Mind Disorders
  • Panic and Anxiety Disorders