panic disorder

what is a panic disorder?

what is panic disorder?

Panic disorder may be known as an anxiety disorder characterized by repeated, unexpected panic attacks. Panic attacks are periods of intense fear or discomfort that come on suddenly and peak within minutes.

They may include physical symptoms such as a racing heart, shortness of breath, and chest pain, as well as psychological symptoms such as feelings of impending doom or loss of control.

What Are the Causes of Panic Disorder?

Most attacks last between 20-30 minutes. Some of the signs of an attack are sweating, chest pain, nausea, a fast heartbeat, and feeling out of control. Many people mistake panic attacks for heart attacks, so they seek medical help.

Some causes of panic disorder are:

  • genetics
  • environmental factors
  • stressful life events
  • People who have a family history of anxiety disorders have an increased risk of developing this condition.
  • They may also have relatives who have depression or other mental illnesses.

Panic disorder occurs most often in teenagers and adults, with rates of occurrence peaking during adulthood. Women are twice as likely as men to develop this disorder. This disorder can be treated with psychotherapy.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy can help people who suffer from panic disorder learn to change their thoughts and behaviors. Patients can learn how to recognize triggers and avoid them. The therapy can also help clients understand their independence from panic attacks.

Symptoms and signs

panic disorder
panic disorder

Panic disorder is a form of anxiety that can lead to other medical complications. It can cause depression, phobias, substance abuse, and suicide.

Symptoms can start at any age. Moreover, symptoms can range from mild impairment to total inability to function outside the home.

Exercise releases serotonin and feel-good hormones, and reduces depression and anxiety. Physiotherapists can recommend physical activity to relieve symptoms. Stress and alcohol can also be major sources of stress, and can contribute to panic disorder.

Having a child or being separated from a partner can also be a stressor. Several studies have found a relationship between panic disorder and stressful life events.

Symptoms may include:

  • Recurrent, unexpected panic attacks
  • Fear of future panic attacks
  • Avoidance of situations that may trigger panic attacks
  • Worry about the implications or consequences of the panic attacks
  • Changes in behavior due to the panic attacks

Diagnose with Panic disorder

To diagnose panic disorder, a healthcare professional will typically conduct a thorough evaluation, including a physical examination and a review of the individual’s medical and psychiatric history. They may also use diagnostic tools such as questionnaires or interviews to assess the severity of the disorder and the impact it has on the individual’s daily life.


Treatment for panic disorder often involves a combination of medications and therapy. Antidepressant medications such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or benzodiazepines may be prescribed to reduce the frequency and severity of panic attacks.

Therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), can help individuals identify and modify negative thought patterns that may contribute to their panic attacks. Relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or progressive muscle relaxation, may also be helpful in managing symptoms.

It is important to seek treatment for panic disorder as soon as possible, as it can have a significant impact on an individual’s quality of life. With appropriate treatment, individuals with panic disorder can learn to manage their symptoms and lead a fulfilling life.

References and Resources: NHS, MAYO CLINIC, NIMH, Johns Hopkins Medicine, WebMD.

Mental Health - Mind Detox
Mental Health – Mind Detox






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