What is panic disorder?
Panic disorder is a type of anxiety disorder in which a person has repeated attacks of intense fear that something bad will happen to the point of being affected physically. Panic disorder is an extremely unpleasant type of condition that causes the individuals who have it tons of suffering. This is because of the panic attacks which are characterized by a sudden and unexpected overpowering feeling of fear. Panic attacks due to a panic disorder can happen at any time and in any place. They can happen due to a reason or no reason at all and they can come with warning and without warning. Depending on the individual, panic attacks can last from one minute to several hours. Overwhelming anxiety can also develop in between panic attacks since they are so unpredictable and can happen at any time. Because of this panic disorder can really impact a person’s ability to function in day to day life.
- The cause of panic disorder is unknown although genes may play a role. For instance, if one identical twin has panic disorder the other twin is likely to develop it to, almost 40% of the time. Panic disorder often occurs although when there is no family history.
- Panic disorder is actually quite common and it is estimated that around 2.4 million or 1 in 113 American suffer from it. Each year, an estimated 1.7% or 1 in 58 adult Americans aged 18 to 54 experiences a panic attack. It is also estimated that 15% of all American are very likely to experience from a panic attack at least once at some point in their lives.
- Panic disorder is more common in women than it is in men. This may be because it is a fear based disorder. Women are twice as likely to have panic disorder. Women are always two times more likely to have a recurrence of their panic disorder after treatment.
- Panic disorder can begin at any point during a person’s life but is more prevalent in early adulthood and mid-teens. People aged between, 25-44 are at the highest risk of developing a panic disorder. It has statistically been shown that those individuals who are well-educated, married, have families, and a steady job are less likely to develop a panic disorder than those with minimal or no education.
If a person does have a panic disorder there are different types of treatment available. The goal of treatment for those with panic disorder is to help them function in everyday life. A combination of medication and cognitive-behavioral therapy has been shown to work best. Antidepressant medications are usually the most common forms of medicines for panic disorder.
There are also some lifestyle changes that someone with a panic disorder can make that include holistic remedies. These treatments for panic disorder, for instance are:
- Limiting caffeine intake
- Avoiding alcohol and drugs
- Meeting with a therapist
- Using breathing techniques
- Massage Therapy
All of these treatments help to relax someone with a panic disorder which may help to relieve some of the suffering due to anxiety. Some people may never be cured of their panic disorder but they can live to function better in their day to day lives with a mixture of medication, therapy, and holistic remedies or maybe just different parts of the three treatments. Panic disorder does not have to ruin someone’s life it can be arrested and disappear almost entirely with the right tools to treat it.
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