PANIC ATTACK
Mystery Scene|Fall #169, 2021
The newest entry in my Pittsburgh set series of thrillers is called Panic Attack. It’s the sixth book featuring Daniel Rinaldi, a psychologist and trauma expert who consults with the Pittsburgh Police.
Dennis Palumbo

In this latest, the city is terrorized by a series of rooftop sniper attacks, aimed at seemingly random victims. Dubbed the Steel City Sniper by the media, his haunting presence throws the citizens into a kind of collective panic.

At the same time, Dr. Rinaldi is treating a young patient who narrowly avoided the sniper’s bullet, and is now paralyzed by his own panic symptoms.

So what is a panic attack, and what are its symptoms? During the recent pandemic, many people have reported symptoms of both depression and anxiety. But while prolonged anxiety can itself be frightening and even debilitating, it’s not as severe as a panic attack.

A panic attack can begin at any time and without warning, its main symptoms being a fear of loss of control and sense of impending doom. Given the breathlessness and hypertension that often accompany panic attacks, most people experiencing these effects believe they’re having a heart attack. Particularly because one of its other symptoms is chest pain.

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