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EMA Care Blog

Our Blog covers recent, relevant and helpful health and healthcare news

EMA Care Blog

Our Blog covers recent, relevant and helpful health and healthcare news

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 lots of 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. Some of the 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.  Similar to adults, teens that experience a panic attack, tend to avoid whatever they were doing, or wherever they were when they had the 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 then 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.

There are also medications which 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. It’s important for your child 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.



Israeli Health Insurance for Students
Measles Management in Gap Year Dorms

What Our Clients Say

Skilled and professional

I write to express my hakarat hatov (positive recognition) and my gratitude to the two health professionals from EMA Care that have been from the start professionally involved and continue to be interested in my care and long-term recovery.

After a serious fracture, I was hospitalized in the north, and my insurance company recommended EMA Care services to help me. After a surgeon was pressuring me to sign consent for surgery, I realized that I needed to remain


Sensitive and timely help

I would like to recommend Eliana (EMA care) for her sensitive and timely help for clients who are having difficulty navigating the health care system Israel, specifically for Anglos, whether new olim or those of us who been here for many years.

The obstacles of interfacing with the health care system here is daunting, especially at a time when one is going through an acute or chronic condition that is protracted and complicated. Often one doesn’t know whom to turn to or where to go,


Meticulous in their preparations

During our recent visit to Israel, we really struggled to find food for our son who has anaphylactic level allergies to egg and sesame. We approached both restaurants and hotels and were told they were unable or unwilling to take responsibility for preparing his food.

 After learning about Dr. Eliana on-line, we contacted her in the


Comfortable, calm, and at ease

We want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the amazing gift you have given us over this Pesach- the gift of having you with us!!!!

We have NEVER felt more comfortable, calm, and at ease than we did these past 10 days. Your warmth, professionalism, kindness, and care shown through in all that you did.

My children are so grateful that they were able to be with you this Pesach. You made sure that they were so well looked after and they felt so at ease and


Knowledgeable, thorough, and caring

When our son was injured in a car accident during his yeshiva year in Israel, he had to start navigating the medical system on his own. But once we contacted Dr. Eliana Aaron at EMA Care (www.HealthCareIsrael.com), she immediately flew into action. Dr. Aaron accompanied our son in the ER and made sure he and we knew at every step exactly what was done and what needed to be done, especially important for someone who suffered a concussion and


Truly amazing

My son went to Israel for a year requiring infusion every 6-8 weeks. It was very stressful at times to coordinate getting his meds sent to Israel, scheduling appointments, and having to worry about him going on his own. Then a friend told me about EMA Care. EMA Care was truly amazing.

You can speak to an American who understands your concerns and will walk you through the entire process, from dealing with insurance to making appointments, and even getting someone to escort your


My Father is so Happy

It sounds like my dad has decided to hire you and I'm thrilled.
He actually seems much calmer than he has been in a long time and he is very happy with what the EMA Care staff has done so far.
You provide an amazing service and I feel very fortunate to have you on board.

G.K.  Jerusalem


“Ema Extraordinaire”

“EMA” Care is so fitting a name for Dr. Eliana Aaron’s exceptional gap year concierge health care service. Dr. Aaron is not only an incredible health care professional; she is also an “Ema Extraordinaire” in every sense of the word. My child had a range of medical needs while abroad, some anticipated and others not, and she was there for him (and me) – even in the middle of the night, -- always calm, reassuring, thinking out of the box, getting him to the appropriate medical professionals


Very Helpful

Thank you and may Hashem bless you for the work you do. My son Jacob said your allergy card has been very helpful. I am so grateful- beyond words.
Yasher koach



Delicious and Safe

Thank you for delivering our allergy free baked goods to our hotel.  We just tasted the focaccia and it was delicious.

All the best,


New Jersey


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