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What is Panic Attack and Disorder?

Panic attack and disorder is a type of anxiety disorder, which is accompanied by intense feelings of fear and terror in reaction to a particular object, person or situation. While experiencing a panic attack, the individual may feel as if they are losing control over their own reactions and emotions. An episode of intense panic is known as a panic attack, but when an individual experiences panic attacks for a prolonged period of time, it is clinically termed as a panic disorder.

What are its main signs and symptoms?

During a panic attack, the individual experiences psychological symptoms like:

The panic attack is usually accompanied by physical symptoms like:

What are its main causes?

A panic disorder is a result of extreme levels of stress. However, this is a psychological condition that needs medical attention. The reactions to a particular level of stress may vary from person to person. Usually, panic disorders develop over time when the person experiences extreme anxiety or stress for a prolonged period of time.

In most individuals, there is usually a particular stimulus or trigger which sets off a panic attack. For example, in some individuals, the cause of a panic attack may be a crowded surrounding. The causes of panic attack vary and tend to be connected to the loss of a loved one, threatened harm to self or a loved one, major financial loss, etc.

However, a panic attack may occur without warning too.

How is it diagnosed and treated?

The disorder is clinically diagnosed by a mental health care professional, most often a psychiatrist or psychologist. The approach to dealing with panic disorders is mostly targeted at enabling the individual to control their symptoms by performing relaxation exercises and breathing exercises. In order to release mental stress, professional counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy may also be done.

Medication may be needed in severe cases. Anti-anxiety medications are commonly prescribed in such cases. 

It is essential to know that a panic disorder is not a life-threatening condition, but can impact one’s self-esteem and confidence. The symptoms are manageable and panic disorders can be dealt with effectively with timely assistance and awareness of the symptoms.

  1. Medicines for Panic Attack and Disorder
  2. Doctors for Panic Attack and Disorder
Dr. Saurabh Mehrotra

Dr. Saurabh Mehrotra

मनोचिकित्सा

Dr. Om Prakash L

Dr. Om Prakash L

मनोचिकित्सा

Dr. Anil Kumar

Dr. Anil Kumar

मनोचिकित्सा

Do you or anyone in your family have this disease? Please do a survey and help others

References

  1. Healthdirect Australia. Panic disorder. Australian government: Department of Health
  2. MentalHealth.gov [Internet]: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services; Panic Disorder.
  3. Anxiety and Depression Asscociation of America. Panic Disorder. Silver Spring, Maryland; [Internet].
  4. Am Fam Physician. [Internet] American Academy of Family Physicians; Panic Disorder.
  5. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: US National Library of Medicine; Panic disorder.

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