What Is Panic Disorder? An Extensive Synopsis

What Is Panic Disorder? An Extensive Synopsis

Have you ever gone through periods of severe anxiety and panic? You most likely had a panic episode. It may be a sign of a panic condition in certain situations.

A mental health illness known as panic disorder is characterized by sudden anxiety as well as various physical and psychological symptoms. It may cause extreme panic that manifests for no apparent reason.

Anxiety disorders may have an impact on your everyday life and overall health. To become more conscious of your condition, educate yourself about the signs, causes, and treatments of panic disorder.

Panic Disorder vs. Panic Attacks.

Panic Disorder vs. Panic Attacks.

An immediate, distinct period of intense discomfort, worry, or dread accompanied by physical and mental symptoms is called a panic attack. Panic disorder is characterized by recurrent panic attacks, often coupled with anxiety about future attacks or adjusting behavior to avoid possible triggers.

Panic attacks may result from any anxiety disorder. A snake-phobic, for instance, would get very anxious just by looking at one. Anticipated panic episodes arise from encountering comparable troubling circumstances. Panic episodes that strike suddenly are ones that seem to have no reason behind them.

The frequency of panic attacks

Panic disorder is a rather prevalent illness. According to data, 3.3 percent of men and 7% of women in the USA may go through periods of this illness throughout their lives. In general, 4.7%[1*] of adult Americans are estimated to have panic disorder at some time in their life.

The signs of a panic attack

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) defines a panic attack as exhibiting at least four of the following symptoms (a panic attack with less than four symptoms may be classified as limited-symptom panic attack).

Pain or discomfort in the chest

Assessment of Panic Disorder

It’s not always the case that having panic attacks indicates you have a panic condition. The following standards are included in the DSM-5 for the diagnosis of this mental illness:

Meeting the DSM’s criteria for panic disorder is the main need for a diagnosis. To confirm the diagnosis, many psychological scales or tests as well as a physical examination may be used.

Panic Attack vs Agoraphobia

Agoraphobia is the anxiety or terror of being in situations that you believe you cannot get out of. A person may develop agoraphobia if they have a panic episode in a certain location or environment.

In earlier DSM iterations, agoraphobia and panic disorder were associated. The DSM-5 has been updated to include agoraphobia as a distinct and codifiable disorder. It also states that in order to get this kind of diagnosis, avoidance behaviors must be shown. These refer to concerns about running into tense or panicked situations when it could be difficult to get help or flee.
Why Do Panic Attacks Occur?

Although the precise causation of panic disorder or attacks is unclear, the following variables may be at play:

The trait of having a sensitive personality to stress

Panic Disorder Treatment

For the treatment of panic disorder, there are several therapy choices. The optimal course of therapy for a given patient is determined by a comprehensive examination conducted by the physician and a conversation with the patient.


Your doctor may determine that medication is a necessary component of your therapy to lessen the physical adverse effects of your attacks. It might be one of the first stages, for example.

They may recommend benzodiazepines, a kind of prescription anti-anxiety drug, or antidepressants, which are the first line of defense against recurrent panic episodes. Patients with substance use disorders may get extra medication prescriptions from doctors.

Medications for panic attacks that are often administered include the following:

Benzodiazepines such as alprazolam (Xanax) are prescribed for brief periods of time.

If you often have panic attacks, talking to a mental health professional about your anxiety could be helpful. This is particularly important if your fear of being attacked limits your activities.

To address anxiety and any underlying issues, a variety of treatments are available. For example:

How Can I Obtain Assistance?

Regular exercise and a well-balanced diet may help lower your chance of experiencing a panic attack. But without outside help, recovery from panic disorder may be difficult, if not impossible, if the symptoms have already begun to appear. That’s why it’s so important that you or a loved one get therapy for panic anxiety.