Panic disorder is a type of anxiety disorder, which is a category of mental illness that includes phobias, obsessive compulsive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).
A panic attack can occur spontaneously at any time and lasts for 10 minutes on average. During the attack, you feel uncontrollable fear and terror that you are about to die.
Panic attack symptoms can include:
To be diagnosed with panic disorder, you must have recurrent panic attacks. You must also have had an ongoing worry about having more attacks for at least 1 month. People with panic disorder fear that their attacks will come back and try to avoid situations that may trigger them.
A possible complication of this anxiety disorder is agoraphobia, or the fear of being in public places. This causes you to fear places where you can't get away if you have a panic attack, i.e., standing in line, being at a party or gathering, being on a bridge or in the metro, or taking an airplane.
If you have panic attacks, you must consult a doctor right away to make sure this condition doesn't affect your quality of life. A medical consultation will also confirm whether your problem is indeed panic attacks and not another medical condition, such as hyperthyroidism.
Panic attacks are generally treated with a combination of psychotherapy and medication.
Treatment also includes a healthy lifestyle:
If you want more information about panic disorder and possible treatments, don’t hesitate to consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Association / Troubles de l’Humeur et d’Anxiété: www.athaq.com
Mental Illness Foundation: www.fondationdesmaladiesmentales.org/la-maladie-mentale.html?t=2&i=4