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Panic Disorder: Causes, Risks and Symptoms

By Rojer @healthxwellness
Panic Disorder: Causes, Risks and Symptoms

The symptoms of a panic disorder can be very frightening and distressing. Symptoms tend to occur very suddenly, without warning and often for no apparent reason.

Panic disorder is different from the normal fear and anxiety reactions to stressful events within our lives. Panic disorder is a serious condition that strikes without reason or warning. Symptoms of panic disorder include sudden attacks of fear and nervousness, as well as physical symptoms such as sweating and a racing heart.

A person with panic disorder may become discouraged and feel ashamed while he or she cannot execute normal routines like going to the supermarket or driving. Having panic disorder may also interfere with school or work.

Panic attacks are seen as a a fear of disaster or of losing control even if there is no real danger. You can also have a strong physical reaction during a panic attack. It may feel just like having a heart attack. Panic attacks can occur anytime, and many people with panic disorder worry about and dread the possibility of having another attack.

What Causes Panic Disorder?

Panic disorder sometimes runs in families, but nobody knows for sure why some people get it, while others don’t. Researchers have discovered that several parts of the brain are involved in fear and anxiety. By learning much more about fear and anxiety in the brain, scientists might be able to create better treatments. Researchers will also be looking for ways in which stress and environmental factors are likely involved.

Who Is At Risk?

Panic disorder affects about 6 million Americans and is twice as common in women as men. Panic attacks often come from late adolescence or early adulthood, although not everyone who experiences panic attacks will develop panic disorder. Many people have just one attack rather than have another. The tendency to develop panic attacks appears to be inherited.

Panic Disorder

Panic Disorder

Panic Disorder Symptoms

A panic attack is really a sudden episode of intense fear occurring for no apparent reason. Panic attacks trigger strong physical reactions that lead to frightening symptoms. A person experiencing an episode might confuse signs of panic attacks with symptoms of a heart attack or stroke. Panic attack sufferers report feeling an entire loss of control as symptoms peak, even feeling like dying.

  • Fear of losing control or impending doom
  • Numbness or tingling within the hands, feet, or face
  • Feeling of choking
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Dizziness or faintness
  • Fear of dying
  • Feelings of detachment
  • Feelings of unreality
  • Sensation of difficulty breathing or smothering
  • Sweating, chills, or hot flashes
  • Nausea or dyspepsia
  • Palpitations, fast heart rate, or pounding heart
  • Trembling or shaking

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