Panic disorder is a crippling condition when a person is suddenly in the grip of extreme fear without any apparent reason. There are no clear reasons for a bout of panic disorder for onlookers. And even the victim finds it impossible to say what triggered the attack. No matter if it is panic or couples therapy near me that is needed find an understanding and well trained counselor to get the help you need and deserve to live life without fear and disappointments.
However, panic disorder is a serious health issue and it should be kept under control. Some of the symptoms of this condition may go as far as mimicking a heart attack. It can occur anywhere and anytime: while driving a car, while doing shopping or while doing sports.
What Are the Causes of Panic Disorder?
The doctors are unclear of the causes of panic disorder. It may be genetically inherited, but there are not enough data to make this assertion. However, it is important to make the difference between having a random panic attack and suffering from panic disorder.
While around 30% of adult US population is likely to suffer from a panic attack in their lifetime, only 3% are diagnosed with panic disorder. Women are more predisposed to suffer from this condition than men.
Identifying the Symptoms of Panic Disorder
As we stated above, some of the worst symptoms of panic disorder may be mistaken for a heart attack. However, this is an extreme situation. Most of the symptoms of a panic attack are:
- Fast, irregular heartbeat
- Sudden sweating
- Hot flashes or chills
- Fear, including for one’s life
- Nausea, feeling faint or dizzy
- Shortness of breath
These symptoms last for around 5-10 minutes, but may compound if the victim of the panic attack does not receive attention and treatment. However, the aftermath of the attack may linger for the rest of the day, leaving the person weak, confused and depressed.
Panic Disorder or a Random Panic Attack?
Most people end up diagnosed with panic disorder after several panic attacks. While a lot of people are likely to give in under stressful situations, few will actually experience panic attacks on more than one or two situations.
Thus, after the doctor will rule out physiological conditions, such as a heart problem or asthma, the most likely diagnose is panic disorder.
How to Treat Panic Disorder?
There is no treatment to make panic disorder go away completely. Doctors may prescribe anti-anxiety medicine or antidepressants, but the most effective way to keep panic disorder under control is by behavioral therapy.
This type of therapy involves identifying thoughts and behaviors that are most likely to trigger a panic attack and trying to get rid of them. For example, someone who worries too much about their work or their future should learn to stop stressing about those aspects that are beyond their control.
At the same time, the patients should analyze their usual consumption of caffeine and alcohol and cut back on them. Recreational drugs are also something they should avoid, as they cause more damage than good in the long term.
A positive outlook on life, physical exercise and a healthy diet are the best solutions for living with panic disorder with minimum negative impact from its outbreaks.