Anxiety Disorders Panic Disorder

Panic disorder is characterized by repeated and unexpected panic attacks followed by a period of constant worry about when the next attack will occur.

Many people experience isolated panic attacks without further episodes or complications. Just because you have experienced one or two panic attacks doesn't necessarily mean you will develop a panic disorder.

People with this disorder experience unexpected, frequent attacks that aren't triggered by a specific situation, consistently worry about the next panic attack (anticipatory anxiety,) and begin avoiding places where they have experienced a previous attack (phobic avoidance.) This can sometimes lead to agoraphobia (avoidance of any situation where one may not be able to get help, or the feeling of losing control in a public place.)

While a single panic attack may only last a few minutes, the effects of the experience can leave a lasting imprint. If you have panic disorder, the recurrent panic attacks take an emotional toll. The memory of the intense fear and terror that you felt during the attacks can negatively impact your self-confidence and cause serious disruption to your everyday life.

Symptoms of a panic attack are as follows:

  • Shortness of breath or hyperventilation
  • Heart palpitations or a racing heart
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Choking feeling
  • Feeling unreal or detached from your surroundings
  • Sweating
  • Nausea or upset stomach
  • Feeling dizzy, lightheaded, or faint
  • Numbness or tingling sensations
  • Hot or cold flashes
  • Fear of dying, losing control, or going crazy
Panic Disorder Test
Your heart seems to pound or race for no reason.
Disagree
Agree
You have felt like you can
Disagree
Agree
You experience dizziness or faintness for no reason.
Disagree
Agree
You have felt detached or not real.
Disagree
Agree
Your symptoms have caused you anxiety or depression.
Disagree
Agree
You urinate more than usual or fear you may not be near enough to a bathroom.
Disagree
Agree
You sometimes feel like you are going to lose control or "go crazy".
Disagree
Agree
You sometimes worry about having no one available to go to in case you were having weird body sensations.
Disagree
Agree
You have trouble falling or staying asleep.
Disagree
Agree
Members of your family have experienced the same problems.
Disagree
Agree
You avoid being social in fear of panic symptoms.
Disagree
Agree
You have experienced numbness or tingling throughout your body.
Disagree
Agree
A doctor has told you nothing is wrong and prescribed you medication for anxiety or depression.
Disagree
Agree
Your symptoms have come and gone throughout your life.
Disagree
Agree
You worry frequently about dying or becoming ill.
Disagree
Agree
You are sometimes afraid to eat for fear of choking.
Disagree
Agree
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