Understanding Panic Disorder

A panic disorder is an intense mental and physical event. Just under 5% of adults will experience a panic attack at some point in their lives, and it can be a deeply unpleasant experience. But some people experience panic attacks multiple times. This is panic disorder.

Considered a type of anxiety disorder, panic disorder can cause recurring panic attacks. They might happen in response to particular triggers or randomly, severely disrupting your life and causing you to fearfully await the next attack.

Fortunately, panic disorder usually responds well to treatment. Knowing what the symptoms you are experiencing indicate and what type of treatment to seek can help you manage panic disorder.

What It Means to Have a Panic Attack

A panic attack is an activation of your fight or flight response in a way that is disproportionate to your situation. A panic attack usually only lasts 5 to 20 minutes. During that time, you might feel:

  • Intense feeling of fear.
  • Rapid heart rate.
  • Hyperventilation.
  • Chest pain.
  • Sweating and clamminess.
  • Dizziness or disorientation.

The symptoms of a panic attack are often extreme enough that people often mistake a panic attack for a heart attack.

The other symptom of panic disorder is that it often causes those who experience it to worry about the next panic attack occurring. This can increase your stress, which increases the chance of future panic attacks, and make you resistant to going into situations or environments that might have triggered a panic attack in the past.

How Psychiatrists Treat Panic Disorder

Panic disorder can be treated with both medication and psychotherapy. Psychiatrists can prescribe several different anti anxiety medications that will limit the symptoms of a panic attack and help reduce overall symptoms of anxiety.

Talk therapy can also help you understand and process the underlying causes of panic disorder which can often be a result of PTSD or other mental health conditions.

Aware Behavioral Health offers psychiatric treatment for panic disorder in Dallas. If panic attacks or overwhelming anxiety are disrupting your life, Dr. Sehdev can provide a customized treatment plan to help you manage anxiety. Send us a message today and we can get you an appointment within 7 days.

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