What is Panic Disorder?

Panic disorder is a mental health condition where a person experiences recurrent anxiety and panic attacks. Commonly, such attacks have no particular trigger or cause. Normally, panic and anxiety can result when an individual is placed in a stressful or dangerous situation. However, in people with panic disorders, the anxiety attacks have no apparent cause and may occur at any time.

Symptoms

  • Anxiety is typically characterized by a feeling of dread, apprehension, fear or sense of impending doom
  • Excessive worrying is common in people with a panic disorder
  • Panic disorder is also associated with phobias
  • A patient may already have generalized anxiety disorder or post traumatic stress disorder
  • During a panic attack, a patient may experience sweating, trembling, overwhelming fear, apprehension, nausea, a rapid and irregular heartbeat and palpitations. There may also be difficulty in breathing and tightness in the chest. The frequency of panic attacks determines the severity of the condition.

Diagnosis and treatment

People experiencing panic attacks for no apparent reason need to visit their physician who would carry out a detailed evaluation of a patient's symptoms, including symptom severity, frequency and duration. A complete mental health evaluation is also usually performed. For diagnosis to be confirmed, there needs to be one well defined panic attack followed by a month of worry or concern regarding future attacks.

Treatment aims at reducing the frequency of panic attacks and easing the anxiety associated with the fear of further attacks. The usual treatment approach involves a combination of medications and talking therapy or psychotherapy.

Further Reading

Last Updated: Jun 17, 2023

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Written by

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Dr. Ananya Mandal is a doctor by profession, lecturer by vocation and a medical writer by passion. She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor's (MBBS). For her, health communication is not just writing complicated reviews for professionals but making medical knowledge understandable and available to the general public as well.

Citations

Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Mandal, Ananya. (2023, June 17). What is Panic Disorder?. News-Medical. Retrieved on July 13, 2024 from https://www.news-medical.net/health/What-is-Panic-Disorder.aspx.

  • MLA

    Mandal, Ananya. "What is Panic Disorder?". News-Medical. 13 July 2024. <https://www.news-medical.net/health/What-is-Panic-Disorder.aspx>.

  • Chicago

    Mandal, Ananya. "What is Panic Disorder?". News-Medical. https://www.news-medical.net/health/What-is-Panic-Disorder.aspx. (accessed July 13, 2024).

  • Harvard

    Mandal, Ananya. 2023. What is Panic Disorder?. News-Medical, viewed 13 July 2024, https://www.news-medical.net/health/What-is-Panic-Disorder.aspx.

Comments

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
Post a new comment
Post

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.