Diseases And Treatments

Panic Disorder - What It Is, Symptoms and Treatments


Panic Disorder - What It Is, Symptoms and Treatmentsthis condition. In additionPanic Disorderis a type of anxiety disorder in which unexpected crises of despair and intense fear of something bad happen. While most people experienced a panic attack triggered by particular events or situations,Panic Disorderusually develop suddenly and for no apparent reason.

OPanic Disorderaffects about 4% of Canadians and is twice as likely in women than in men. The disorder may appear at any age but usually appears in young adults.

The risk of developing aPanic Disorderis increased if there is a family history of panic attacks or disturbances, history of abuse, experience of a traumatic event, experience of high levels of stress and need to adapt to significant changes in their life.



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Causes of Panic Disorder:There is no specific explanation for the cause ofPanic Disorder, there are certain perspectives that researchers use to explain the disorder. The first is the biological perspective. Past research has concluded that there is irregular norepinephrine activity in people who have panic attacks.

Current research also supports this perspective, as it has found that those withPanic Disorderalso have inadequately functioning brain circuitry. This circuit consists of the amygdala, the central gray matter, the venromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus and the cereus locus. There is also the cognitive perspective. Theorists believe that people withPanic Disorderthey may experience panic reactions because they confuse their bodily sensations with life-threatening situations.


These bodily sensations cause some people to feel that they are out of control, which can lead to feelings of panic. This misperception of bodily sensations is referred to as anxiety sensitivity and studies suggest that people who have a higher index of anxiety sensitivity than others are five times more likely to be diagnosed withPanic Disorder

Symptoms of Panic Disorder:The main symptoms ofPanic Disorderusually begin to appear in adolescents and young adults under 25 years of age. If you have had four or more panic attacks, or you live in fear of having another panic attack after experiencing one, you may have onePanic Disorder.


Panic attacks produce an intense fear that starts suddenly, often without warning. An attack usually lasts 10 to 20 minutes, but in extreme cases, the symptoms can last for more than an hour. The experience is different for everyone, and the symptoms usually vary.


Common symptoms associated with a panic attack include:

  • Heart beat or palpitations;
  • Shortness of breath;
  • Feeling as if you were suffocating;
  • Dizziness (vertigo);
  • Dizziness;
  • Nausea;
  • Sweating or chills;
  • Trembling or shaking;
  • Changes in mental state, including a sense of derealization (feeling of unreality) or depersonalization (being separated from oneself);
  • Numbness or tingling in hands or feet;
  • Pain in the chest or tightening;
  • Fear that you might die.

Symptoms of a panic attack usually occur for no clear reason. Typically, the symptoms are not commensurate with the level of danger that exists in the environment. Because these attacks can not be predicted, they can significantly affect their functioning. Fear of a panic attack or recovery from a panic attack can result in another attack.

Diagnosis of Panic Disorder:The diagnosis ofPanic Disorderis done through criteria defined in DSM.IV, the Manual of Diagnosis and Statistics of Mental Disorders. An isolated crisis or a reaction of intense fear to real threats does not constitute sufficient events for the diagnosis of the disease. Seizures need to be recurrent and cause behavioral modifications that negatively interfere with patients' lifestyles.


Treatments for Panic Disorder:The treatment forPanic Disorderfocuses on reducing or eliminating your symptoms. This is achieved through therapy with a qualified professional and, in some cases, medication. Therapy usually involves cognitive-behavioral therapy. This therapy teaches you to change your thoughts and actions so that you can understand their attacks and manage their fear.

Medicines used to treatPanic Disordermay include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, a class of antidepressants. The SSRIs prescribed forPanic Disordermay include:

  • Fluoxetine
  • Paroxetine
  • Sertraline

Other medicines sometimes used to treatPanic Disorderinclude:

  • Inhibitors of serotonin-norepinephrine, another class of antidepressants
  • Anticonvulsant medications;
  • Benzodiazepines (commonly used as tranquilizers), including diazepam or clonazepam;
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors, another type of antidepressant that is used infrequently because of rare and serious side effects.


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In addition to these treatments, there are a number of steps you can take at home to reduce your symptoms. Examples include:

  • Keeping a regular schedule;
  • Exercising regularly;
  • Getting enough sleep;
  • Avoiding the use of stimulants such as caffeine.


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