Panic disorder is an anxiety
disorder in which a person experiences recurrent panic attacks. A panic attack
is a feeling of intense fear when there is no real threat or danger.
More to Know
Panic disorder is usually diagnosed between the ages of 18 and 24. More women than
men have the condition and it can run in families.
Along with unexplained and paralyzing fear, a person with panic disorder may experience
a racing heartbeat, shortness of breath, chest pains, dizziness, hot flashes, and
chills. Other symptoms may include shaking, trembling, sweating, and tingling in the
fingers or toes. Some people may feel like they're losing control, having a heart
attack, or dying. Symptoms usually last for 10-20 minutes but can last up to an hour
Attacks can occur without a specific trigger or warning. For this reason, many
people with panic disorder have difficulty participating in everyday routines like
going to work or school for fear of having an attack in public.
Keep in Mind
Left untreated panic disorder can be a debilitating illness that leads to depression,
alcohol and drug abuse, and many other problems. With medication and behavioral therapy,
however, panic disorders can be successfully managed and most people suffering from
the disorder can go on to live normal lives.
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