What is Panic Disorder?
Sufferers of panic disorders encounter feelings of anxiety, stress and panic on a regular basis, and have recurring and regular panic attacks, often without reason. A panic attack involves a rush of intense symptoms, but will not cause you any physical harm.
There are many possible causes for panic disorder, including phobias, generalised anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.
How common is Panic Disorder?
At least one person in 10 experiences occasional panic attacks. These are normally triggered by a stressful event. One in a hundred people in the UK suffer from panic disorder.
Sufferers of panic disorder may have one or two attacks a month, whilst others have several attacks a week. The condition is approximately twice as common in women as it is in men.
What are the symptoms of Panic Disorder?
Symptoms of a panic attack can be frightening and occur with no warning. You will feel an overwhelming sense of anxiety, palpitations, sweating and trembling, hot flushes or chills, chest pain, nausea and dizziness, a churning stomach and a need to go to the toilet. Panic attacks may feel like you are having a heart attack.
Symptoms usually last between 5 and 20 minutes, but some attacks have lasted for up to an hour. The unpleasant physical symptoms of an attack make people with panic disorder fear the next attack, increasing the cycle of panic.
How is Panic Disorder treated?
Treatment for panic disorder includes psychological therapy and medication to reduce your number of attacks and ease your symptoms.
If you are mainly concerned about psychological treatment, choose a product which offers cover for psychiatric treatment.