What is Panic Disorder?
Panic disorder is when you have recurring and regular panic attacks, often for no apparent reason.
Everyone experiences feelings of anxiety and panic at certain times during their lifetime. It's a natural response to stressful or dangerous situations.
However, for someone with panic disorder, feelings of anxiety, stress, and panic occur regularly and at any time.
What causes Panic Disorder?
Panic disorder arises when we feel out of control of our bodies, due to Panic Attacks and Anxiety. These feelings of anxiety are sparked by thoughts of 'I can't cope' or 'my anxiety will take over'. This can often result in us beginning to avoid public places altogether, which can lead to Agoraphobia.
Agoraphobia is a bi-product of anxiety, which prompts us to stay at home, where we feel it's safe. This can result in a dramatic impact on your occupational, social, or romantic life.
Symptoms of panic disorder
The symptoms of a panic attack can be very frightening and distressing.
Symptoms tend to occur suddenly, without warning and often for no apparent reason.
As well as overwhelming feelings of anxiety a panic attack can also cause a variety of other symptoms, including:
- a sensation that your heart is beating irregularly
- hot flushes
- shortness of breath
- a choking sensation
- chest pain
- feeling faint
- numbness or pins and needles
- dry mouth
- a need to go to the toilet
- ringing in your ears
- a feeling of dread or a fear of dying
- a churning stomach
- a tingling sensation in your fingers
The physical symptoms of a panic attack are unpleasant, and they can also be accompanied by thoughts of fear and terror.
For this reason, people with panic disorder start to fear the next attack, which creates a cycle of living in ‘fear of fear’ and adds to the sense of panic.
Sometimes, the symptoms of a panic attack can be so intense they can make you feel like you're having a heart attack.
How common is Panic disorder?
According to the NHS, at least one in 10 people experience occasional panic attacks, which are usually triggered by a stressful event.
Panic disorder is when a person has recurring and regular panic attacks. In the UK, it affects about two in 100 people, and it's about twice as common in women as it is in men.
In conclusion, Panic Disorder is treatable. In our experiance, we have seen a complete relapse of anxiety withing 8-10 sessions.
For more information on how CBT could address your anxiety, please get in touch via our facebook page or website.