Panic disorder is a real illness that can be treated to help a person have a healthy
and full life. It is a type of anxiety
disorder. With this disorder, a person can feel frequent and sudden intense
fear for no reason. These frequent "bursts" of intense fear are called panic
attacks. During these attacks, you can have scary physical feelings like a fast heartbeat,
trouble breathing, or dizziness.
Panic attacks can happen at any time and without any warning. They can happen anywhere
- in grocery stores, malls, crowds, or when traveling. A person can live in constant fear
of another attack, staying away from places where past attacks have happened. This fear
can take over a person's life, making her or him unable to leave their home (a condition
called agorophobia). While panic attacks don't last long, they are scary, making
them feel like they could last forever. This disorder can last for a few months or go on
for many years, even with treatment.
It's important to know that when a person has this illness, it's not her or his fault.
And, it's not something a person can just "snap out of." No one knows for sure
what causes panic disorder. It most often starts when people are young, around 18 to 24
years old. It also can begin when a person is already under a lot of stress, such as after
the death of a loved one or having a baby. While anyone can have this disorder, it affects
women more than it does men. And, it can run in families.
Symptoms of Panic Disorder
Management of Panic Disorder
Treatments for Panic Disorder
Coping with Panic Disorder