Learn about Panic Disorder and Panic Attacks
People with panic disorder often have sudden and repeated panic attacks, during which feelings of intense fear and losing control trigger a physical response to no real danger. Panic disorder is a type of anxiety disorder.
When a panic attack occurs, people might feel like they are unable to breathe or having a heart attack. The attacks can occur at any time, causing dread that another attack will occur. This in turn can cause some people to develop agoraphobia, a condition in which they avoid certain places (such as stores or restaurants), or certain activities (such as driving on highways) for fear they will have another panic attack, be embarrassed, or be unable to escape if a panic attack does occur.
Panic attacks, while intensely uncomfortable, are not life threatening and can be managed effectively with a treatment plan. Left untreated, panic attacks can lower your quality of life and lead to other fears and mental health problems including social anxiety.
Signs and Symptoms of Panic Disorder
- Sudden and repeated panic attacks of overwhelming anxiety and fear
- A feeling of being out of control, or a fear of death or impending doom during a panic attack
- Physical symptoms such as a pounding or racing heart, sweating, chills, trembling, breathing problems, weakness or dizziness, tingly or numb hands, chest pain, stomach pain, and nausea
- An intense worry about when the next panic attack will happen
- A fear or avoidance of places where panic attacks have occurred in the past
Diagnosis and Treatment of Panic Disorder
In order to diagnose panic disorder, your physician will perform an exam and ask about your health history and symptoms. Treatment of panic disorder typically includes psychotherapy (talk therapy), medication, or both. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is one widely used form of psychotherapy for the treatment of panic disorder.
If you or someone you care about is suffering from panic attacks, please contact Novum Psychiatry for a confidential evaluation.
Panic disorder should not dictate how you live your life. Our team can take you through individualized treatment towards change.
Panic Disorder Resources
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We know that taking the first step can be difficult. Whether this is your first time seeking psychiatric care or if you are seeking a new provider, Novum Psychiatry can help. Our team of psychiatrists and therapists are committed to understanding your unique experience and working closely with you on a treatment plan to maximize the quality of your life.