When most people hear the term panic disorder they tend to associate the disorder with fear and anxiety surrounding stressful events. However, panic disorder characterized as a serious sometimes debilitating condition that strikes without reason or warning. Persons suffering from panic disorder often experience symptoms so severe it can mimic symptoms associated with a heart attack or stroke.
The reason some people feel as if they are having a heart attack is because they may experience feelings that their heart is being squeezed, they can’t seem to catch their breath, they have chest pains, dizzy, nauseated, or weak. Suffers genuinely feel as if they are about to die. Symptoms of panic disorder include sudden attacks of fear and nervousness, as well as physical symptoms such as sweating and a racing heart. During a panic attack, one’s fear response is out of proportion to the current situation, which often is not threatening. Over time, a person with panic disorder develops a constant fear of having another panic attack, which can affect daily functioning and general quality of life. The fear of having another panic attack maintains the cycle, reinforcing it over time.
Interestingly, panic disorder often occurs along with other serious conditions, such as depression, alcoholism, and substance abuse.
11 Symptoms of Panic Disorder Include:
- Heart palpitations
- Shortness of breath
- Sharp chest pains
- Trembling or shaking
- Intense feelings of doom
- Feeling of being choked or strangled
- Tingling or numbness in the fingers and toes
- Intense feelings that they are going to die
Although, there is effective treatment available to help suffers mitigate symptoms related to the disorder, the exact cause of panic disorder is not fully known or understood. Research conducted on the disorder suggest a combination of factors have been positively correlated to the disorder, such as biological, psychological, and environmental.
5 Factors Correlated to Panic Disorder Include:
- Stressful life event
- Family history of the disorder
- Substance abuse
- Threat or fear of harm
- Abnormalities in the brain
5 Treatment for the disorder may include:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Diet and exercise
- Developing relaxation techniques
Millions of people all over the world suffer from panic disorder, many going untreated. Symptoms related to panic disorder are often present in late adolescence and early adulthood. It is twice as common in women as in men. Although, it is impossible to prevent the disorder from occurring as t is you your individual response to the event that may or may not lead to the disorder, it is treatable. You do not have to suffer in silence there is treatment available, treatment that can lead to a longer life and a better life.