International Panic Day

International Panic Day, a celebration of all things anxiety, aims to create greater awareness of the unexpected and episodic freak-outs so many of us experience during our lives.
Panic is a sudden sensation of fear which is so strong as to dominate or prevent reason and logical thinking, replacing it with overwhelming feelings of anxiety and frantic agitation consistent with an animalistic fight-or-flight reaction. Panic may occur singularly in individuals or manifest suddenly in large groups as mass panic (closely related to herd behavior).
Prehistoric men used mass panic as a technique when hunting animals, especially ruminants. Herds reacting to unusually strong sounds or unfamiliar visual effects were directed towards cliffs, where they eventually jumped to their deaths when cornered. Humans are also vulnerable to panic and it is often considered infectious, in the sense one person’s panic may easily spread to other people nearby and soon the entire group acts irrationally, but people also have the ability to prevent and/or control their own and others’ panic by disciplined thinking or training (such as disaster drills).
An influential theoretical treatment of panic is found in Neil J. Smelser’s, Theory of Collective Behavior. The science of panic management has found important practical applications in the armed forces and emergency services of the world.