By Dr. Indranil Saha, Psychiatry
Panic Disorder occurs when you get panic attacks unexpectedly and it recurs from time to time. A panic attack is a frightening experience that makes the person feel intense discomfort and fear of having another panic attack. This fear of having another panic attack just after having a current one is classified as Panic Disorder. A person suffering from Panic Disorder may experience a choking feeling, while their heart starts to pace every time they have a panic attack. Though panic attack isn’t very common, it can be controlled effectively.
Panic Disorder usually occurs in teens, but can also happen to adults. Each panic attack usually lasts for 10-15 minutes but can also continue for over an hour.
Symptoms of Panic Disorder
Some of the common symptoms that may occur with Panic Disorder are:
● Heart palpitation is noticed in a person suffering from panic attack
● Dizziness and nausea
● A person having a panic attack will sweat excessively
● A person might feel they are being choked during a panic attack
● Mood swings and rage might be felt by a person just after having an attack
● Chest pain
● A person may tremble during an attack
● Thoughts of death might be experienced during the attack
Causes of Panic Disorder:
Though the causes of panic attack aren’t known thoroughly, experts claim that it might be genetically linked. It can also happen when anxiety escalates and takes over the body. Panic attacks may also happen when a person gets a sudden rush of anxiety before taking major steps in life like marriage, going abroad for work, losing someone and bad relationships. It is unknown what exactly triggers panic attacks, but with thorough self-analysis, a person can determine what pushes them towards a state of panic.
Treatment of Panic Disorder:
There are many ways available to treat Panic Disorder, but some of the effective ways to treat this disorder are:
Cognitive Behavioral therapy: In this therapy, a therapist helps the patient to control their actions and stops recurring panic attacks. Talking therapy has a major role in this method, a therapist talks about factors that trigger a patient into going in a state of panic, once the patients identify their trigger points the therapist helps in controlling the situation through better thought processes and breathing exercises.
Medication: If the Panic Disorder in a patient is of an advanced level, the doctor suggests certain medications like Antidepressants and Anti-seizure medications to help the patient control the attacks.
Though panic attacks are frightening, it is important to understand that it is happening because of sudden triggers in life. Going to a therapist and identifying these triggers and controlling them is of utmost importance.