Panic disorder is a psychiatric condition in which the sufferers go through recurring and regular panic attacks, without any apparent reason or warning. It is different from the normal fear and anxiety responses to stressful events or dangerous situations in our lives.
People with a panic disorder experience feelings of terror suddenly and have ongoing fear of a recurring attack.
Panic Disorder explained
Panic attacks are explained as a fear or concern of disaster or of uncertainty even when there is no real threat. These attacks usually last for several minutes and can even occur during sleep.
Panic attacks may also produce strong physical responses such as sweating and a racing heart. During an attack, the affected individual might even have a feeling like a real heart attack.
Over time, people with a panic disorder become anxious and develop a constant fear wondering when the next attack will occur, which eventually interrupt their daily routine and affect their quality of life.
Christian based rehab centers can help you connect with the one who can help you overcome Panic Disorder once and for all. Devotions staff are experienced with co-occurring disorders, and are here for you to help you reach your goals and overcome your fears in recovery.
Signs and Symptoms of Panic Disorder
The signs and symptoms of a panic attack can be very scary and stressful. Symptoms usually strike unexpectedly, without any warning. Panic attacks can occur anywhere and at any time. They may even happen when you’re relaxed or asleep. Often, you’ll not find any clear reason for the attack.
Panic attacks have many variations; however, the signs and symptoms usually reach their peak within 10 minutes. They mostly last for 20 to 30 minutes and rarely last more than 60 minutes. You may feel exhausted and fatigued when an attack subsides.
Individuals with panic disorder may have:
- Unexpected and recurring attacks of fear
- A feeling of terror or a fear of dying
- A fear of losing control
- A feeling of being detached from the surroundings
- An ongoing concern of having another panic attack
- A significant change in their behaviors related to the attacks
- A fear of going to places that are connected to previous panic attacks
- Physical symptoms during a panic attack, including hyperventilation, heart palpitations, shaking, trembling, sweating, choking sensation, weakness or dizziness, hot flushes, chest pain or discomfort, tingly or numb hands, depersonalization, or nausea or stomachache.
Self-assessment: Do you have Panic Disorder?
Are you suffering from panic disorder? If you suspect that you might have it, ask yourself the following questions. If most of the answers are yes, consider seeking professional help and support.
- Are you troubled by unexpected and recurring attacks of fear during which you experienced a feeling of terror for no apparent reason?
If your answer is yes, have you experienced any of the following symptoms during those attacks:
- Shortness of breath or hyperventilation
- Pounding or racing heart
- Shaking or trembling
- Choking sensation
- Feeling weak, dizzy, unstable, lightheaded, or faint
- Chills or hot flushes
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Fear of losing control or dying
- Tingly or numb hands
- Feeling of being unreal
- Nausea or stomachache
Regarding the above symptoms:
- Did these episodes give you a feeling that something terrible was happening to you?
- Have you developed a constant fear wondering when the next panic attack will occur?
- Are these attacks happening repeatedly?
- Are you worried about having another episode?
- Have these episodes happened unexpectedly, for no apparent reason?
- Are you avoiding the places where panic attacks occurred in the past?
- Have you made a significant change in your behavior fearing those attacks?
Please note that the above questions are for informational purposes only and are not designed to serve as a screening or assessment tool for panic disorder. Diagnosis of panic disorder needs a thorough assessment by a qualified professional, preferably a psychiatrist.
How to Help Someone with a Panic Disorder?
If your loved one is having a panic disorder, offer your help and support. Specialized therapy by a qualified one can make a big difference in treating the condition. Such therapy can teach your loved one how to control the fear and cope with recurring attacks. Even a short therapy can be helpful! Therefore, once the therapy is started, your contribution and support will be invaluable for the person you care.
For more help and suggestions, call us today at to talk with a psychiatrist at Devotions Recovery Center.