Panic Disorder: Signs, Symptoms, Treatment

Panic disorder is a type of anxiety disorder that causes persistent and uncontrollable panic attacks. Panic attacks are characterized by sudden feelings of intense fear and looming danger, when in fact there is no real threat. Men and women who experience panic attacks feel completely out of control and undergo a wide range of physical symptoms including increased heart rate, profuse sweating, and hyperventilation.

Signs and Symptoms of Panic Disorder

Some additional symptoms associated with panic disorders can include:

  • An unshakable sense of impending danger
  • Intense and persistent fear of death or loss of control
  • Dramatically increased heart rate and heart palpitations, in extreme cases
  • Uncontrollable body tremors, trembling and shaking
  • Shortness of breath
  • Hot flashes
  • Intense headache
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness, which can sometimes lead to fainting
  • Numbness of the extremities
  • A tingling sensation throughout the fingers and toes
  • Feelings of detachment and unreality
  • Severe stomach cramping
  • Nausea and vomiting

Men and women who experience panic disorder often live in a constant state of fear. Predominantly, they are afraid of when the next panic attack will strike. Like other anxiety-related disorders, panic disorder can be effectively treated with a combination of intensive therapy and pharmaceutical intervention. Many individuals who struggle with panic disorder have gone on to lead healthy and productive lives, free from panic attacks and extreme anxiety.

Causes of Panic Disorder

While it is not known exactly what causes panic disorder, several contributing factors are known to play a role in its development. As is the case with other anxiety disorders, genetic predisposition plays a major role. Panic disorder can also be instigated by major, ongoing stress, personal temperament, or changes to brain function resulting from an accident or another significant event. Some cases of panic disorder are characterized by panic attacks that seem to come from nowhere, and that cannot be traced back to any particular person, place, or thing. Other panic disorders are characterized by panic attacks that are triggered by specific circumstances. Regardless of the cause, all panic disorders are treatable.

Treatment for Panic Disorder

For a panic disorder to be professionally diagnosed, an individual must exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Experiencing frequent panic attacks at unexpected times
  • Experiencing persistent and uncontrollable worry about having another panic attack when least expected
  • Experiencing fear that revolves around losing control or going crazy, and actively avoid situations that could potentially trigger a panic attack
  • Experiencing panic attacks that are not instigated by anything else, for example, the use of chemical substances, another underlying mental health disorder like social phobia or any other medical condition

If you are currently suffering from panic disorder, you might feel as if there is no way out. The good news is that recovery is entirely possible, and with a combination of medication and intensive therapy, you can overcome even the most severe panic attacks and go on to lead the life you deserve. Panic disorder is easily treatable under the care of a licensed psychologist. For more information, reach out to Voices of Mental Health today.

Contact Voices of Mental Health

Voices of Mental Health was founded by a team of compassionate mental health specialists, all with the common goal of informing the general public about dual diagnosis disorders and how to get effective help. mental illness is still widely stigmatized, and many people who are suffering from a mental disorder like panic attacks do not know where to turn when things get too hard to manage. Simply give us a call and we will point you in the right direction while offering you all of the information you need on panic disorder and all other mental health concerns. We look forward to speaking with you soon and helping in any way that we can.

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