Panic Attacks in Gap Year Students


Recently, several gap-year students experienced sudden onset panic attacks, and they reached out to EMA Care.

Panic attacks can be frightening and disorienting to any adult! When an 18-19-year-old is far from home, living in a dormitory with many other people, it’s even more frightening, especially when it is the first time having a panic attack.

When a person has a real phobia, such as fear of flying or fear of heights, the brain perceives a real danger. The brain is designed with a flight or fight response when the brain perceives danger. The brain triggers adrenaline and other hormones to begin pumping into the body. This creates more strength and energy to fight off the perceived danger.

But what happens when the body is triggered, and there is no physical danger? There is no conscious fear or phobia? This results in a panic attack. The body behaves as if you are in danger and begins producing all sorts of physical and mental symptoms.

Signs of a panic attack are:

1. heart palpitations
2. sweating
3. shortness of breath
4. chest pain
5. nausea or abdominal pain
6. fear of losing control or going crazy
7. feeling dizzy or light-headed
8. unable to breathe

Upcoming exams, being in a new environment, roommate problems, new social issues can all contribute to having a panic attack.  Like adults, teens who experience a panic attack tend to avoid whatever they were doing or wherever they were when they had a panic attack. This can curtail normal day-to-day behavior. “I’m not going into that classroom because the last time I was there, I felt like I couldn’t breathe.” A student may start to feel unsafe traveling or sitting in a cafeteria for meals.

The good news is there is proven treatment available in Israel to help students overcome panic attacks. More importantly, this treatment will help overcome the fear of having another panic attack!! The fear of another panic attack can be even more debilitating than the panic attack itself.

The most important treatment is psychotherapy. An experienced therapist will work on deep emotions and develop working strategies. The most common method uses CBT (cognitive behavior therapy). This will help the student develop healthier ways of thinking and behaving. Mindfulness and meditation are also valuable resources.

Some medications will help. EMA Care strongly recommends therapy first.

Parents can support their child by being extra patient, understanding, and by providing a model on healthy ways to react to stress. Your child needs to understand how common panic attacks are. This is the time for reassurance that he/she is not going crazy!! A quick search on the internet will give you a few basic tools to help you calm down anyone experiencing a panic attack.

If your gap year student is experiencing panic attacks, EMA Care is here to do a thorough intake. Our job is to make a good match between the student and the therapist.



Stay Informed

When you subscribe to the blog, we will send you an e-mail when there are new updates on the site so you wouldn't miss them.

Israeli Health Insurance for Students
Measles Management in Gap Year Dorms

Our Latest Blogs

25 June 2023
Medical Checklist for Gap Year Students It's probably safe to say that the Gap year packing list your child received did not include a medical supplies checklist. There are many reasons to give your kids some medical supplies and medicines before the...
31 October 2021
You have decided to make your Aliyah and currently take prescription medications. How can you continue with your medication regimen in Israel? How can you ensure that your medications are available in Israel and how do you communicate the need for th...
17 October 2021
During the Coronavirus pandemic, many people have been worried about the upcoming Flu season. But to everyone’s surprise, the numbers in the southern hemisphere were the lowest they have been in a long time. “Never in my 40-year career have we ever s...

EMA Care in the News

05 September 2021
Medical Care during the Holidays can be tricky in Israel especially if you do not speak Hebrew. During the holidays, many medical offices and hospitals are operating on Shabbat mode. Shabbat mode means that personnel is cut to minimum staffing, many ...
19 July 2021
Over the years, we've been approached by people who've asked us about different kinds of diets and food plans. Intermittent fasting has become very popular over the last few years. It is a method of dieting that restricts the amount of time you are a...
11 July 2021
 Telemedicine is a great option for caring for geriatric populations in Israel. This is especially true during the Covid-19 pandemic. Over the years, we’ve had many clients who care for their older, dependent parents. Take our clients, the A fam...

What Our Clients Say

Our COVID-19 WhatsApp informational group

Thank you so much for your help. I can't tell you how this Whatsapp group helps all of us. It makes everyone so much more relaxed to have real good information and have somewhere to ask questions, I am so grateful!

Our COVID-19 WhatsApp informational group

I want to express my appreciation for these very informative updates.

Thank you so much


Entry to Israel services

Your team was so attentive to my needs. Everyone was so incredibly quick to respond and were proactive when they were able!


Interview with Dr. Mobeen & Dr. Eliana Aaron

Many thanks for your hour-long session on Dr. Syed's YouTube channel. This is the best Hasbara Israel could wish for!


EMA Care information and Q&A conference

Thank you for the zoom (and all your updates). It was great. I wish the news was like that. Straight forward, factual, unemotional.  Bravo to both of you ladies!! 


EMA Care information and Q&A conference

Thanks so much for your time and attention! It was excellent! Thank you guys so much for organizing.


EMA Care information and Q&A conference

Thank you! Very helpful and comprehensive.


WhatsApp groups

I really appreciate being apart of your WhatsApp groups. It keeps me informed and up to date!


Ema Care WhatsApp groups

I have been following your updates closely and I really appreciate your posts and I know that I am reading accurate information 


Recommended by an Infectious Disease Specialist

My experience with Ema Care has been so positive that I wanted to share it in case it could help someone else. Eight days ago my daughter, a Shanah Bet student, called to say she wasn’t feeling well and had symptoms of Covid-19. I was put in touch with an Infectious Disease specialist who recommended Ema Care. I reached Dr. Eliana Aaron easily and signed my daughter up. The next morning, Ema Care gave my daughter a telehealth exam and provided her with prescriptions, as well as a list of