Panic disorder is basically an anxiety disorder that is caused by frequent panic and fear attacks. Panic attacks are mostly caused by fear-producing thoughts or events, such as driving or taking an elevator but they can also occur without any reason. People suffering from the disorder have terror feelings that strike repeatedly and suddenly without warning. It is impossible to predict when the next attack will happen, and that is why many people get intense anxiety between incidents, worrying when another attack will occur. There is a lingering and persistent worry between attacks that another one may occur any time.
Panic attacks are characterized by sweating, dizziness, fainting, pounding heart and a feeling of weakness. The person’s hands may feel numb or tingle, the individual may also feel chilled or flushed. There can be a sense of unreality, loss of control, a fear of impending doom or chest pain. According to Johnna Medina from PsychCentral, the individual may believe they are getting a stroke or heart attack, on the verge of death, or losing their mind. Attacks may also occur during sleep, this type of panic attack has been found to occur in more than a third of people with these disorder in the U.S. Some of these attacks can go for even 10 minutes but most of them average for a shorter period.
Panic disorder strikes 4 million Americans on average, at any age in both sexes. Panic attacks do not necessarily lead to panic disorder – for instance, most people experience only one attack in their lifetime. It is therefore important that you seek treatment incase you experience a panic attack. Half of the panic disorder victims in Europe and U.S. have experienced both unexpected and expected panic attacks. The decision by clinicians in determining whether their client’s panic attack will lead to panic disorder is based on the intense of that panic attack.