What is a Panic disorder?
Panic disorder is a mental condition in which the affected person experiences unexpected panic attacks more frequently. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in its 5th Edition (DSM-5) defines Panic attacks as the sudden surge of intense fear or discomfort that reach its maximum within a few minutes. One may have a panic attack if they suddenly feel an overwhelming terror without any apparent reason. They may experience physical symptoms of a panic attack such as racing heartbeats, difficulty in breathing, unusual sweating, etc.
According to the American Psychological Association’s recent report, on an average out of 75 people, only one is likely to be affected by the Panic disorder. A person affected with Panic disorder can have a persistent fear of having another panic attack.
What are the symptoms of the Panic disorder?
Panic attacks produce intense fear without any appropriate reason. Usually, panic attacks last for 10 minutes to 20 minutes, but in some cases, it may last upto one hour.
Some of the common symptoms of panic disorder that one may experience are as follows:
- Racing or rapid heartbeats
- Shortness of breath
- Nausea or vomiting
- Sweating or chills
- Mood swings
- Numbness or tingling in hands and feet
- Pain or tightness in the chest
- Intense fear without any reason
What causes Panic disorder?
Panic disorder’s root cause der is still not understood, but researchers think it is linked genetically. Panic disorder can also occur because of life’s stressful conditions, such as loss of loved ones, marriage, unexpected events, etc.
Who is more prone to Panic disorder?
According to the National Institute of mental health, women are more prone to get affected by this disorder.
How can we diagnose Panic disorder?
If you ever experience any symptoms of a panic attack. You should immediately consult your doctor and seek emergency medical assistance. If you get a Panic attack for the first time, it may feel like having a heart attack.
Your doctor may advise you to get the following medical examination to diagnose you with panic disorder:
- Blood test
- Electrocardiogram (ECG)
If they found any symptoms that are matching with the Panic disorder, they will treat you accordingly.
How to treat Panic disorder?
Panic disorder is a mental condition that can not be cured but managed with your doctor’s medicines and a change in your lifestyle. While prescribing medications to treat the Panic disorder, doctors mainly focus on reducing or eliminating your symptoms. Doctors can manage symptoms of the Panic disorder with a therapy called cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Your health expert may prescribe you the following medications if you have the panic disorder:
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, also abbreviated as SSRIs, such as fluoxetine, sertraline, paroxetine
- Other antidepressants
- serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)
- antiseizure drugs
- Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
- Benzodiazepines such as diazepam, clonazepam
Using the medicines mentioned above and some daily lifestyle changes can help you manage Panic Disorder more effectively. You can adopt the following change to concur the panic disorder:
- Maintaining a regular and disciplined schedule
- Exercise daily
- Practice meditation
- Incorporate yoga in your daily life
- Make yourself busy and active
- Take proper sleep
- Avoid taking stimulants while you are on this medication
What is the long term outlook of Panic disorder?
Panic disorder is a chronic mental condition that can be difficult to treat—some people having Panic disorder do not respond well enough to the treatment. On average, most of the people affected by this disorder got relief from the symptoms of the Panic disorder.
How to prevent Panic disorder?
It is not possible to prevent this disorder. However, you reduce the chances of getting affected with Panic disorder by avoiding alcohol, stimulants such as caffeine, and other illicit drugs. You should avoid getting stressed about anything and try to make yourself busy. If you ever experience any uneasiness without any apparent cause, you should talk to your doctor about that.