Panic Disorder is a Mental Health Disorder that occurs when someone experiences repeated or frequent panic attacks. Those who live with Panic Disorder experience consistent fear over when these panic attacks might occur. This fear can become overwhelming and affect your quality of life. Fortunately, there are ways to treat Panic Disorder with the help of a Licensed Clinical Psychologist. The first step is to better understand Panic Disorder. Learn more with this overview of everything you need to know about Panic Disorder, including the signs, symptoms, and how you can get help.
Panic Attacks and Panic Disorder
A panic attack is a sudden and intense feeling of fear. Panic attacks can cause you to feel like you’re in danger or you’ve lost control. Even when there is no danger around you, the symptoms of a panic attack—such as chest pain, sweating, and shortness of breath—are very real.
Anyone can experience a panic attack. However, individuals who experience multiple panic attacks might have Panic Disorder. Individuals with Panic Disorder experience fear and worry about their panic attack. Because panic attacks are unpredictable, this fear can become a consistent and harmful presence in one’s life.
Symptoms of Panic Disorder
Experiencing a panic attack doesn’t necessarily mean you have Panic Disorder. However, panic attacks are always a symptom of Panic Disorder. Panic attacks occur suddenly with little or no warning. Symptoms of panic attacks can include any or all of the following:
- Chest pain
- Chills or sweating
- A rapid or irregular heartbeat
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Shortness of breath and trouble breathing
- Feelings of detachment from reality
- Fear of losing control or dying
You might experience a panic attack in response to a specific situation or stressor, or the attack might come with no apparent cause.
Causes of Panic Disorder
Potential causes are an important part of what you need to know about Panic Disorders. Exposure to extreme stress or trauma can lead to repeated panic attacks and the development of Panic Disorder. A family history of panic attacks can also make someone more prone to this disorder. Your individual temperament might also play a role. Someone who is more sensitive to stress can be more vulnerable to panic attacks and therefore predisposed to Panic Disorder.
Complications of Panic Disorder
The fear of having another panic attack is intense and potentially debilitating. This fear can lead to the development of other mental health issues. For example, someone with Panic Disorder might start avoiding places or situations that cause them to panic. This can lead to agoraphobia, which is the fear of going places and seeing people.
Individuals with Panic Disorder might also turn to maladaptive behaviors to ease their symptoms. This can lead to an increased use of alcohol, drugs, or other harmful habits, which can thus create Addiction Disorders or other mental health conditions.
Treatment for Panic Disorder
If left untreated, Panic Disorder can lead to isolation, strained relationships, poor work performance, and continual feelings of fear and worry. Fortunately, Panic Disorder doesn’t have to take over your life. Professional treatment from an experienced Anxiety Psychologist will help you seek proper treatment to address your panic attacks.
At Blair Wellness Group, Dr. Blair uses her years of experience to help clients heal from their Mental Health Disorders. Reach out to Blair Wellness Group today! We offer evidence based treatment models and customized care that meets your specific needs and challenges.