What are the Symptoms of Panic Disorder?

What are the Symptoms of Panic Disorder?

Panic disorder is a type of anxiety disorder characterized by recurring and unexpected panic attacks, along with persistent fear and worry about experiencing future panic attacks. Symptoms of panic disorder may include:

  1. Recurrent Panic Attacks:
    • Sudden and intense surges of fear or discomfort that peak within minutes. These attacks often come on unexpectedly.
  2. Palpitations or Accelerated Heart Rate:
    • Feeling the heart racing, pounding, or experiencing palpitations.
  3. Sweating Profusely:
    • Excessive sweating, even when not physically active or in a cool environment.
  4. Trembling or Shaking:
    • Trembling or shaking of the body, especially in the extremities.
  5. Shortness of Breath or Feeling Smothered:
    • Difficulty breathing or a sensation of being smothered or suffocated.
  6. Chest Pain or Discomfort:
    • Chest tightness, pain, or discomfort, often accompanied by a fear of having a heart attack.
  7. Nausea or Abdominal Distress:
    • Feeling nauseous or experiencing gastrointestinal discomfort.
  8. Feeling Lightheaded, Dizzy, or Unsteady:
    • Feeling dizzy, lightheaded, or as if you might faint.
  9. Derealization or Depersonalization:
    • Feeling detached from oneself or the surroundings, or experiencing an altered sense of reality.
  10. Fear of Losing Control or Going Crazy:
    • A fear of losing control, going crazy, or doing something out of control during a panic attack.
  11. Fear of Dying:
    • A fear of dying or believing that you are about to die during a panic attack.
  12. Chills or Hot Flushes:
    • Feeling cold or experiencing sudden flushing or hot sensations.
  13. Fear of Enclosed Spaces or Crowded Places:
    • Avoidance of certain places or situations that may trigger panic attacks, such as elevators, airplanes, or crowded spaces.
  14. Persistent Worry About Future Panic Attacks:
    • Constant worry or fear of having another panic attack, leading to behavioral changes or avoidance of situations where attacks may occur.
  15. Panic-Related Anxiety:
    • Excessive worry about the consequences of a panic attack, such as going crazy, losing control, or experiencing physical harm.

It’s important to note that panic disorder significantly impacts daily life and can cause distress and impairment. If you suspect you have panic disorder or are experiencing panic attacks, seeking professional help from a mental health provider is essential for evaluation, diagnosis, and appropriate treatment. Treatment may involve therapy (e.g., cognitive-behavioral therapy) and, in some cases, medication to manage the symptoms effectively.

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