Why do we panic? Our brain was designed to live in the wild, where dangers were omnipresent. Now we live in towns and cities where bear attacks are less likely to occur, but our brain doesn’t know that. So what happens is we react with the same rush of adrenaline and other chemicals like norepinephrine to non life threatening situations, like a missed deadline, an awkward social encounter, or a sudden noise. For people with panic and anxiety disorders, this is ramped up even more, sometimes, if you’re like me, to the point of panic attacks. There is a perceived threat and the body overreacts accordingly, which is both uncomfortable and unnecessary. Here’s a comic from the brilliant Kate McKissick.