Panic Disorder

Panic disorder is an anxiety condition in which people experience repeated, sudden and intense fear that is usually uncontrollable and disproportionate. Typically, the individual living with panic disorder experiences multiple panic attacks, sometimes the cause is known but more often than not there is no apparent reason.

This section provides information about panic disorder. How it is diagnosed, possible causes and where to get further information and support.

Panic disorder is similar to other anxiety disorders, but is primarily a condition that causes regular, recurring panic attacks, often without a clear reason, and fear of another panic attack recurring.

Panic attacks involve a number of mental and physical symptoms, including overwhelming fear or anxiety, shortness of breath, a feeling of being choked, hot flushes, and heart palpitations. They can be scary, but they are ultimately not life-threatening.

The causes of panic disorder are not clear, but it can be caused by a chemical imbalance in addition to a traumatic life experience, such as grief or violence.

Panic disorder can be treated with therapy (such as cognitive behavioural therapy) and medication or a combination of both.

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