What Is Panic Or Anxiety Disorder?
Panic disorder is a anxiety disorder in which people who suffer it have repeated attacks of intense fear that something bad will occur when not expected.
People suffering from panic disorder also believe very strongly that the "panic attack" they experienced means that something is physically wrong with them.
For example, many people with panic disorder fear that they are having a heart attack, that they're about to lose control, or that they're going crazy.
Other people with panic believe that because they can't catch their breath that they're suffocating, or that the dizziness, lightheadedness, and "unreal" feeling they experience means they have a terrible undiagnosed illness.
The person with a tightness around the head fears they have a brain tumor. The person with muscle spasms fears they're coming down with a muscular disease. Heart palpitations and/or skipped heartbeats "prove" that there's something wrong with the heart.
People suffering from panic disorder can go through intense laboratory tests of all kinds before they accept that what they are suffering from is anxiet, and not a physical, medical condition.
People suffering the disorder are convinced that that they have a disease that is causing the feeling of sudden awfulness after a panic attack.
A large number of people who experience their first panic attack go either to the hospital emergency room or to their physician as they feel their life is threatened and want a diagnosis for the cause.
When their physicians say that they cannot find anything physically wrong with them, it adds to the persons anxious feelings.
This is because they are convinced that something IS WRONG with them, if not how do you explain the terrible emotions and sensations they experince during their panic attacks?
Sadly, many such people are not informed that they are experiencing anxiety and that the most likely culprit is a panic attack.
Panic disorder often restricts the movement of people becaue of its unpredictably. It could occur anytime and anywhere. So they prefer to restrict themselves to a specific 'safe' area.
This in turn turns into 'agoraphobia' because they fear they will have a panic attack if they get out of their 'safe area.', whatever it is.
Statistically, panic disorder occurs twice as often in women than in men, with the symptoms usually beginning before 25 years of age, sometimes also occuring the mid-30s.
Panic disorder also does occur in children but usually gets diagnosed only when they become adults.