Panic Disorder is a mental illness that affects people. Panic attacks are irrational feelings of fear and worry that manifest physically as a racing heart, rapid breathing, and perspiration. Some people develop panic disorder, which is a sort of anxiety disorder, as a result of their fear of these attacks. Panic attacks can be prevented with therapy and anti-anxiety drugs.

panic disorder
Panic Disorder

What is the definition of a panic attack?

In typical, nonthreatening conditions, a panic attack involves quick, fleeting sensations of terror and powerful physical reactions. You may sweat a lot, have difficulty breathing, and feel as if your heart is racing when you’re suffering a panic attack. You might think you’re experiencing a heart attack.

When you worry too much about having another panic attack or adjust your actions to avoid having one, you can develop panic disorder.

What is the prevalence of panic attacks?

An estimated 11% of Americans have a panic episode each year. Approximately 2% to 3% of them will develop panic disorder in the future.

Who is prone to panic attacks?

A panic attack can strike anyone at any time. These elements play a part:

  • Panic attacks usually begin in early in life. Panic attacks can affect people of all ages, including children.
  • Women are twice as prone to suffer panic disorder as males.

What creates a panic attack?

Experts are confused as to why certain people suffer panic attacks or panic disorder. How you perceive and deal with fear and anxiety is heavily influenced by your brain and nervous system. If you have any of the following, you’re more likely to suffer panic attacks:

  • Anxiety disorders, especially panic disorders, are frequently passed down through families. Experts are confused as to why this is.
  • Panic attacks are more common in people who suffer from anxiety disorders, depression, or other mental illnesses.
  • Problems with substance abuse: Alcoholism and drug use can make panic attacks more likely.

What exactly are the signs and symptoms of a panic attack?

Panic attacks strike without notice and without warning. After a panic attack has begun, there is no way to halt it. Within 10 minutes after the start of an episode, symptoms normally peak. They vanish quickly after that. The following are symptoms of a panic attack:

  • Pain in the chest.
  • Chills.
  • A feeling of choking or suffocation.
  • Breathing problems.
  • apprehension of losing control
  • You’re afraid you’re going to die.
  • A strong sense of fear.
  • Nausea.
  • My heart is racing.
  • Sweating.
  • Numbness or tingling in the fingers or toes.
  • Shaking or trembling.

When it comes to panic attacks, how can you know if you’re having one?

Heart illness, thyroid disorders, and respiratory difficulties all produce symptoms that are comparable to panic attacks. To rule out a physical concern, your healthcare professional may conduct testing. Your provider may make a diagnosis based on your symptoms and risk factors if there is no physical cause.

How can you know if you have panic disorder?

Panic disorder can be diagnosed by medical or mental health professionals. When you have panic episodes on a regular basis, your doctor may diagnose you with panic disorder if you:

  • Constantly fear having further panic episodes or the consequences of them.
  • When you’re having a panic attack, you’re worried about losing control.
  • Change your habits to stay away from situations that could lead to a panic attack.

There are four distinct types of panic disorders.

According to a clinical history and concomitant neurotic or depressed symptoms, the authors attempted to define panic disorders into four kinds. The following are the characteristics of each type:

Type I: a single panic attack is the only symptom;

type II: only panic attacks occur frequently without any accompanying neurotic or depressive symptoms;

type III: a recurrence of panic attacks and the gradual development of neurotic symptoms such as anticipatory anxiety, generalised anxiety, agoraphobia, or hypochondriasis;

type IV: a recurrence of panic attacks and the gradual development of neurotic symptoms such as anticipatory anxiety, generalised anxiety, ago Depressive symptoms emerge as a result of recurrent panic attacks in type IV.

There are three subtypes within Type IV.

Type IV-1: Depressive symptoms arise as a result of panic attacks, and serious depression develops later alongside panic disorder.

Type IV-2: panic disorder morphed into serious depression over time.

Type IV-3. Panic episodes and depressive symptoms are found separately in

Type III and IV-1 are the most common forms, and they appear to be a core group of panic disorder. The underlying psychopathology is examined as well as typical cases of each category.

What methods are used to manage or treat panic attacks?

Stopping panic attacks with psychotherapy, drugs, or a combination of the two is quite effective. The length of your treatment is determined by the severity of your problem and how well you respond to it. Among the possibilities are:

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy (sometimes known as talk therapy). You talk to a mental health expert, such as a qualified counsellor or psychologist, about your feelings and thoughts. This professional can assist you in identifying panic attack causes so that you can alter your thoughts, behaviours, and reactions. The attacks will reduce and eventually stop as you begin to respond differently to triggers.
  • Antidepressants: Certain antidepressants can reduce the frequency or severity of panic episodes. Serotonin selective reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), and tricyclic antidepressants are all options (TCAs). Fluoxetine (Prozac®) and paroxetine (Paxil®) are two SSRIs. Duloxetine (Cymbalta®) and venlafaxine (Effexor®) are two SNRIs. Amitriptyline (Elavil®) and doxepin (Sinequan®) are two TCAs.
  • Anti-anxiety medications: The most widely given anti-anxiety medicine for treating and preventing panic attacks is benzodiazepines. They can help with anxiety, but they also carry the risk of addiction or dependence. Alprazolam (Xanax®) and lorazepam (Ativan®) are two of these drugs.

What are some of the side effects of panic attacks?

Panic episodes can be effectively treated. Many people, unfortunately, put off seeking treatment because they are humiliated. Panic attacks or panic disorder that goes untreated can make it difficult to enjoy life. You might be able to:

  • Anticipatory anxiety is anxiety caused by the likelihood of experiencing a panic attack.
  • Phobias: A phobia is a fear of something that is severe and illogical. A fear of heights, for example, is acrophobia, while claustrophobia is a dread of enclosed areas.
  • Agoraphobia affects around two-thirds of patients with panic disorder. This anxiety condition makes you fearful of going to places or circumstances where you might have a panic attack. You may become too terrified to leave your house because of your fear.

What can I do to avoid panic attacks?

Your doctor can assist you in identifying the causes that cause panic attacks. During psychotherapy, you will learn how to deal with triggering events and avoid an attack. You can also take the following steps to reduce your chances of experiencing a panic attack:

  • Caffeine consumption should be reduced.
  • Exercise on a regular basis.
  • Maintain a balanced diet.
  • Take care of your tension.
  • Before taking herbal supplements or over-the-counter drugs, see your doctor. Anxiety can be exacerbated by some substances.

What is the prognosis  for panic attack sufferers?

The majority of people improve after receiving treatment for panic attacks. Taking the positive step of seeking treatment is critical to halting the assaults and allowing you to enjoy — rather than fear — life.

When should I consult a physician?

Some panic attacks feature symptoms that are similar to those of a physical condition such as a heart attack. Seek emergency medical attention if you develop chest pain, difficulty breathing, or lose consciousness.

If you are having panic attacks and are experiencing the following symptoms, you should contact your healthcare professional.

  • Anxiety that interferes with day-to-day activities.
  • Concentration is difficult.
  • Irritability at an all-time high.
  • You are afraid of leaving your house (agoraphobia).
  • Symptoms of a panic attack that last longer than 15 minutes.
  • Sleep issues.

What are some of the questions I should ask my doctor?

If you’re having panic attacks, you should talk to your doctor about the following:

  • What is causing my panic attacks?
  • What’s the best way to deal with panic attacks?
  • How long will I have to go to therapy?
  • How long must I take my medications?
  • Should I be on the lookout for drug side effects?

Cleveland Clinic’s message

Panic disorders can be incredibly painful. Despite the fact that they aren’t physically dangerous, they can have a negative impact on your mental health and prevent you from doing the things you enjoy. Don’t be shy to inform your doctor that you suffer from panic attacks. Your doctor can assist you in overcoming the concerns and anxieties that cause attacks. Treatments like as psychotherapy and medication can help you feel better.

If you have any type of mental stress, anxiety or any health issue related to mental disorder juct book your appointment from  Astha Psychiartic Hospital

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