What is a Panic Disorder?
A panic attack is the sudden experience of intense fear or anxiety, often accompanied by a sense of doom. Panic symptoms arrive “out of the blue,” and usually include shortness of breath, heart palpitations, and upset stomach. During a panic attack you may fear that you are having a heart attack, going crazy, or losing control.
Sometimes, fear of having a panic attack leads people to stay home or avoid crowded situations. This is called agoraphobia and can lead to a very restricted lifestyle.
Treatment for panic disorder includes anxiety management skills, followed by guided practice at experiencing panic-like symptoms without avoidance. Panic Disorder can often be treated in a relatively short period of time.
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