Mind Matters

Panic Disorder

Panic disorder is one of the most inconvenient disorders which limits the person to such an extent that the person even hesitates to step out of his/her home. Panic attack often results in a false alarm and the individual feels that the world is going to come to an end.

In fact, people with panic disorder feel like they are getting repeated heart attacks and that they are going to die soon. They loose control over the body as well as the mind. Panic attack occurs even during sleep, and an attack lasts for 10 minutes.

According to NIH Statistics, Panic disorder affects about 6 million American adults and is twice as common in women as men.

Panic attacks usually occur in late adolescence and early adulthood.

Not every panic attack results in full blown panic disorder.

Often person affected with panic attacks identify the attack with the places where they occurred. For example, if the attack occurs in the lift, the person tries to avoid that particular lift next time.

Often the panic disorder goes undiagnosed and mistaken for other disorders. It is the most treatable among all the anxiety related disorders.

Symptoms of Panic Disorder

The following are the commonly found symptoms of Panic Disorder:

  • Racing heart
  • Sweatiness
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Chest pain
  • Smothering sensations

Treatment for Panic Disorder

Treatment must be administered under the strict supervision of a Psychiatrist who is trained in cognitive-behavioral therapy and/or behavioral therapy. The health care professional must be competent enough to treat both the panic disorder and the associated disorder. Drug withdrawal also needs to be closely monitored for withdrawal at times results in unwarranted symptoms.

Normally recommended medications to treat the panic disorder include the following:

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are often used to treat the anxiety symptoms.
Beta blockers are used for treating the physical symptom associated with panic disorders.

How to cope up with Panic Disorder?

The following information is given to help the individual suffering from Panic Disorder:

Most insurance plans, including health maintenance organizations (HMOs), cover treatment for anxiety disorders.

General advice to counter Panic Disorder

The following advice is given in order to counter and come out of the limitations imposed by Panic Disorder:

  • Do meditation and Yoga
  • Do aerobics
  • Keep yourself away from illicit drugs
  • Avoid taking over-the-counter drugs (especially for common cold)
  • Always seek proper medical advice

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