Panic Disorder

Holli Fox

About panic disorder:

-Affects 6 million over the age of 18

-First line biological relative with disorder are 8 times more likely to develop the condition.


-It was not always recognized as a psychiatric condition

-1980 Development of Diagnostic and Statistical Manuel established overall concept of panic disorder.

Anatomy and Physiology of Panic Disorder:

-Breathing dysregulation that sets off our body's "panic button"

-O2-CO2 levels and their ratios go outside of their normal range the brain will give off distress signals.


-Feeling of choking.

-Shortness of breath.

-Panic attack.

-Sudden and intense feelings of terror, fear or apprehension without actual danger.


-Pounding heart rate followed by chest pain.

-Trembles or shaking.

PNS affects:

-Increased heart rate

-Increased awareness to surroundings

-Increased metabolism

-Increased energy

*After a panic episode one may feel very tired from all the work your body was doing to make you aware of the panic

CNS affects:

-Increased serotonin

-Increased activities

-Defensive behaviors

How to develop Panic Disorder:

-A phobia of internal sensations is thought to drive a person's avoidance behaviors.

-Misinterpret thoughts and emotions as physical symptoms.

*Mostly occurs in people with agoraphobia (social phobia) 33%

*1/3 of people with panic disorder are also diagnosed as depressed.

*1/5 of people with panic disorder have attempted suicide.


-Looking more in group therapy for people to communicate and get help and support from others with the disorder

-Non medicational ways of dealing with panic disorders.

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