top of page

Panic Disorder

Panic disorder is a type of anxiety disorder characterized by recurrent, unexpected panic attacks. These panic attacks are sudden episodes of intense fear or discomfort that reach a peak within minutes. Panic disorder can significantly impact a person's quality of life and daily functioning. Here are key features of panic disorder:

 

  1. Panic Attacks: The hallmark feature of panic disorder is the occurrence of recurrent panic attacks. A panic attack is a sudden surge of intense fear or discomfort that typically reaches its peak within minutes and is accompanied by physical and cognitive symptoms. These symptoms may include palpitations, sweating, trembling, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, dizziness, feelings of unreality or detachment, and fear of losing control or dying.

  2. Unexpected Nature: Panic attacks in panic disorder often occur unexpectedly, without any apparent trigger or external danger. However, they can also be triggered by specific situations or perceived threats, leading to anticipatory anxiety about future attacks.

  3. Worry About Future Attacks: Individuals with panic disorder often experience persistent worry or fear about having additional panic attacks and may make significant changes in their behavior to avoid situations or places where attacks have occurred in the past.

  4. Agoraphobia: Many individuals with panic disorder develop agoraphobia, which is anxiety about being in situations or places where escape might be difficult or embarrassing in the event of a panic attack. This can lead to avoidance of public places, crowded areas, or situations perceived as potentially triggering panic attacks.

  5. Impairment in Daily Functioning: Panic disorder can significantly impair a person's ability to function in various areas of life, including work, social relationships, and daily activities. The fear of having panic attacks can lead to avoidance behavior and social isolation, further exacerbating the impact on functioning.

  6. Physical Health Concerns: Individuals with panic disorder may frequently seek medical attention for symptoms associated with panic attacks, such as chest pain or shortness of breath, despite medical tests revealing no underlying medical cause.

  7. Co-occurring Conditions: Panic disorder commonly co-occurs with other mental health disorders, such as other anxiety disorders, depression, or substance use disorders. Addressing these comorbid conditions is essential for comprehensive treatment.

Treatment for panic disorder typically involves a combination of psychotherapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or exposure therapy, and medication, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or benzodiazepines. Lifestyle changes, stress management techniques, and support from mental health professionals are also important components of treatment. Early intervention and appropriate treatment can help individuals with panic disorder manage their symptoms effectively and improve their quality of life.

Our Care Services

bottom of page