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Is there a medical term that defines when a person gets uncontrollably scared during a frightening action, such as on a roller coaster ride when it is going fast and turns a person upside-down and they scream and cry out of control?

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What makes this a medical issue? Do they have some sort of brain injury or something? –  tchrist Apr 7 '13 at 1:24
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I'd have used the non-medical term hysteria for this. Looking at the Wikipedia page for hysteria, it seems the medical term is conversion disorder.

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It may not be an anxiety disorder. The DSM-V says that only a single instance of mania (even "[subclinical](merriam-webster.com/medical/subclinical]"; [ie, cannot be detected by the usual clinical tests] mania!) is sufficient for assigning a diagnosis of bipolar-II disorder because "there is no such thing as pharmacologically induced mania" (that's the rationale for the change from the DSM-IV), but this is pure nonsense. –  user21497 Apr 7 '13 at 1:39
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It's called panic. The problem here is that it can be caused by something real, like a roller coaster ride, in which case it might be an extreme but not abnormal reaction to an outside stimulus, or by nothing at all, in which case it's a symptom of one kind of anxiety disorder or other: panic disorder is one candidate. Just because someone panics on a roller coaster, however, is no reason to assume that they have panic disorder.

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Right. There are symptoms and then there are disorders. The panic the OP is referring to is a symptom that is appropriate for the situation, like having a stuffy nose for a cold as opposed to an allergic reaction. –  Mitch Apr 7 '13 at 15:15
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For a single occurrence, "panic attack" is appropriate and might be considered a medical expression. –  gmcgath Apr 7 '13 at 16:45
    
@gmgath: Yes, you're right. It is, in fact, a medical expression because it is, in fact, one symptom of the anxiety disorder called Panic Disorder. –  user21497 Apr 7 '13 at 23:47
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