Panic Disorder

What is it?

One day, maybe at work or school, you find yourself looking outside a window. Suddenly, you begin to feel very anxious for no reason, and maybe you feel sick to your stomach. You don't know what's going on, and you can't keep calm. This is a panic attack. If this were to happen multiple times over a longer period of time, then it becomes Panic Disorder.

Panic Disorder is when someone has repetitive panic attacks. Panic attacks usually last for a few minuets, but can sometimes last longer. They bring a great amount of fear even when there is no real threat. Some who have suffered from one explain the feeling is like having a heart attack. They can have a strong physical reaction during a panic attack.

How many people have Panic Disorder?

It can be inherited to have panic attacks. Women tend to have a higher risk for panic Disorder. Panic Disorder can develop in late adolescence or early adulthood.

Symptoms of Panic Disorder

Panics Disorder can cause sudden and repeated panic attacks, feelings of being out of control, worrying about when the next attack occurs, fearing or avoiding places where the person has had a panic attack, a fast heart beat, issues with breathing, sweating, weakness, dizziness, getting hot or a cold chill, having a tingling or numb sensation in the hands, and chest or stomach pains.

How is a Panic Disorder victim helped?

Panic disorder can be treated by psychotherapy, through medications, or both. A doctor may prescribe someone with Panic Disorder anti-anxiety or anti-depressants. Some medications start working around the time the person takes them, or they can take a few weeks to be effective. A therapist may have the victim take cognitive behavior classes, so that they can learn a different way of thinking and reacting to these situations.

Where to find out more about Panic Disorder?

A doctor can give out information on Panic Disorder. Some hospitals may have brochures on more about Panic Disorder. There are also videos posted online, where victims share their experiences or facts are shown. Libraries may have books specifically on Panic Disorder.

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