Panic disorder is a type of anxiety disorder that is characterized by repeated attacks of intense fear that something bad will happen.
Panic disorder can be both extremely debilitating and terrifying. It’s characterized by a sudden and intense sense of dread in which the flight-or-fight response is activated, evoking uncomfortable physiological symptoms. Panic attacks is a condition in which the person using the disorder suffers recurrent panic attacks. The common thread between most panic disorders is the panic attack.
Panic disorder is extremely treatable; however left untreated, it may significantly reduce quality of life. However, when panic attacks are experienced out of the blue with no apparent trigger, this is classified as panic disorder. People with untreated panic disorder are at an increased risk for particular phobias, such as agoraphobia, and they often suffer from one or more additional mental health problems, such as depression or substance abuse.
A panic attack is an abrupt rush of intense fear or intense discomfort that’s accompanied by at least four of the following physical and cognitive symptoms:
Palpitations, pounding heart, or increased heartbeat, sweating, trembling or shaking, difficulty breathing or feeling smothered, a choking feeling, heart problems or discomfort, nausea or stomach difficulties, feeling dizzy, unsteady, lightheaded, or faint, feeling that situations are unreal around you or a feeling that you’re separated from yourself (depersonalization), anxiety about losing control or going insane, fear of dying, numbness or tingling sensations, chills or hot flashes
Other symptoms may occur, but don’t count as diagnostic criteria for panic attacks, such as: tinnitus, neck soreness, headache, and uncontrollable screaming or crying.
But what can cause panic disorder? Why do some people experience panic attacks for no reason at all? There is no clear explanation why this happens. One theory is that genetics includes a role in it, meaning in case your parents or grandparents have this problem then there’s a great chance additionally, you will have this disorder. But again, you will find people with panic disorder who have no genealogy of the condition. There are also theories that nutritional deficiencies like the lack of zinc and magnesium in your body can contribute to this affliction.
Panic disorder is often curable with medication, psychotherapy, or perhaps a combination of both. For medication, probably the most commonly prescribed drugs for panic disorder are anti-anxiety pills and antidepressants. One of the most frequently prescribed drugs for panic disorder is Xanax. It works against panic attacks by promoting a calming feeling.
This is accomplished by enhancing the gamma-aminobutyric acid effects within the brain, slowing down the transmission of nerve signals in that part of the body. It also reduces anxiety and results in sleepiness. Meanwhile, psychotherapy means you aren’t panic disorder will see a psychological professional. Throughout a psychotherapy session, the patient is going to be taught various ways of behaving and reacting to various stimuli that should make him or her less fearful and panicky.
Complications of untreated Panic Disorder
Avoidance – A person may discontinue any activities that appear to trigger a Panic Attack. This could make normal work and home life nearly impossible.
Anticipatory Anxiety – Anxiety that’s triggered merely by taking into consideration the possibility of having an anxiety attack.
Agoraphobia – Fear of being in places or situations by which an attack may occur. This fear can drive individuals to avoid public places and crowds. This could progress to the point that the sufferer won’ leave his or her home.
Claustrophobia – This individual fears enclosed places.