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"Set peace of mind as your highest goal and organize your life around it."
What is Panic Disorder?
We have all experienced a terrorizing moment in our lives when a potentially dangerous situation is unfolding before us. It may have been a child or a pet that placed themselves in harm's way. It may be an auto accident. The experience of terror in such situations is normal and reasonable for the circumstance at hand. An individual who suffers from Panic Disorder experiences those same intense feelings of terror without the actual dangerous circumstance being present. As the terror or panic attacks recur, the individual may begin avoiding regular life activities in an attempt to prevent or hide their anticipated but unpredictable next panic experience.
Panic Disorder is an anxiety disorder that is treatable and manageable. Panic attacks are acute events that typically last a short, intense duration. Those minutes are filled with overwhelming and intense fear that something dangerous or bad is going to occur.
In many cases, Panic Disorder sufferers place limitations on normal daily life activities in an attempt to avoid future attacks. Some may experience social isolation and relationship difficulties. Work or school environments may be affected. In severe cases, the individual sufferer may not leave their home.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), Panic Disorder affects over 6 million adults and its onset is usually associated with early adulthood. Additionally, Panic Disorder is three times more likely among women than men.
A panic attack is an acute onset of intense and overwhelming fear. The attack typically lasts a short duration and encompasses at least four of the following symptoms. It should be noted that these symptoms are very similar to those experienced by victims of a heart attack or breathing disorder. Symptoms may also mimic those of a thyroid disorder. It's always advised to have a complete medical exam to rule-out a physical cause for panic-like symptoms.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has been found the most helpful in treating Panic Disorder. Medications may or may not be used. Treatment protocols will vary by the needs of the individual. The goal of treatment is to improve day-to-day functioning and the ability to work with skills for managing symptomatic stress.
We have provided a series of materials below that you may find helpful in seeking general information. For specific information about your situation, please seek the assistance of a licensed professional therapist who specializes in Anxiety Disorders.
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