What triggers panic attacks and Panic Disorder

What triggers panic attacks and Panic Disorder

panic disorder

is a mental and behavioral illness characterized by recurrent and sudden panic attacks.
Panic attacks are brief bursts of great terror accompanied by palpitations, sweating, shivering, shortness of breath, numbness, or a sense that something awful is about to happen.
Within minutes, the most severe symptoms appear.
There may be continued concerns about future attacks, as well as avoidance of areas where assaults have happened previously.

Panic disorder is characterized by recurrent and consistent panic attacks that occur for no apparent reason.
Anxiety and panic are sensations that everyone has at some point in their lives. 
It’s a normal reaction to threatening or stressful events.
An individual with panic disorder, on the other hand, experiences anxiety, tension, and panic on a regular basis and at any moment.

Panic disorders has no recognized etiology.
Panic disorders is frequently passed down via families.
Smoking, psychological stress, and a history of child maltreatment are all risk factors.
Other mental problems, physical diseases such as heart disease or hyperthyroidism, and drug usage are all ruled out as probable reasons of anxiety during diagnosis.
A questionnaire can be used to screen for the condition.
Counseling and medication are frequently used to treat panic disorder.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most common kind of counselling employed, and it is beneficial in more than half of the cases.

Antidepressants and, in rare occasions, benzodiazepines or beta blockers are utilized. Up to 30% of persons experience a relapse after discontinuing therapy.
About 2.5 percent of people will experience panic disorder at some point in their lives.
It commonly starts in youth or early adulthood, although it can strike anyone at any age.
In children and the elderly, it is less prevalent. Women are more likely than males to be impacted.
When your body experiences a surge of strong psychological (mental) and physical symptoms, it is called a panic attack.

An overpowering sensation of fear, uncertainty, and worry may be felt. You may experience physical symptoms in addition to these sensations, such as:
nausea, sweating, trembling, and a feeling that your heart is racing (palpitations)

Anxiety disorder

What triggers panic attacks and Panic Disorder
What triggers panic attacks and Panic Disorder

Anxiety is a state of mind in which you feel uneasy. It can range in severity from minor to severe, with symptoms such as concern and dread. Severe anxiety can be caused by a variety of factors, including the following:

  • An intense or unreasonable dread of an object, location, circumstance, sensation, or animal is known as a phobia.
  • GAD is a long-term syndrome that produces excessive anxiety and concern in a wide range of situations.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychological and physical ailment that is brought on by unpleasant or terrifying situations.

Is this a panic attack or a heart attack?

The majority of panic attack symptoms are physical, and they might be so severe that you mistakenly believe you’re experiencing a heart attack. Many people who suffer from panic attacks visit the doctor or the emergency department several times in an attempt to receive help for what they fear is a life-threatening medical ailment. While it’s critical to rule out medical reasons of symptoms like chest discomfort, a racing heart, or trouble breathing, panic is frequently neglected as a possible cause—not the other way around.

Symptoms and signs

During panic attacks, victims with panic disorder experience a succession of severe experiences of great anxiety. These attacks usually last approximately ten minutes and can last as little as one to five minutes, but they can last anywhere from twenty minutes to more than an hour, or until aid arrives.
Panic attacks can last up to an hour, with varying levels of severity and symptoms.
In other circumstances, the assault may continue unabatedly at a high intensity or appear to be worsening.
Rapid heartbeat, sweat, dizziness, dyspnea, shaking, and overwhelming panic such as the fear of losing control and going insane, the dread of death, and hyperventilation are all common signs of an attack.
Choking, paralysis, chest pain, nausea, numbness or tingling, chills or hot flashes, faintness, sobbing, and a sense of distorted reality are some of the other symptoms.
Furthermore, the individual frequently experiences feelings of imminent catastrophe.
Individuals who are experiencing an episode frequently express a strong desire to flee the circumstance that prompted the assault.
When compared to anxiety caused by generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder anxiety is especially strong and episodic.
Exposure to particular stimuli (e.g., seeing a mouse) or situations (e.g., the dentist’s office) can trigger panic episodes.
People with panic disorder frequently experience nocturnal panic episodes.
Other attacks may appear to be unintentional.
 Some people have to cope with these situations on a daily or monthly basis.
A panic attack’s signs and symptoms appear suddenly, and they generally peak within 10 minutes.
 They seldom last more than an hour, with the majority of them lasting only 20 to 30 minutes.
 Panic attacks can strike at any moment and in any place. You may have one while shopping, going down the street, driving your car, or even sitting at home on the sofa.

Symptoms of a panic attack s include:

  • Hyperventilation or shortness of breath
  • Heart palpitations, often known as a racing heart, are a condition in which the heart
  • Pain or discomfort in the chest
  • Shaking or trembling
  • choking sensation
  • Feeling out of touch with reality or disconnected from your surroundings
  • Sweating
  • Nausea or a stomachache
  • Feeling light-headed, dizzy, or faint?
  • Feelings of numbness or tingling
  • Flashes of heat or cold
  • Death, losing control, or going insane are all fears that people have.

signs inductions usually last one minute and involve the following:

  • Lightheadedness, derealization, blurred vision, and dizziness are all symptoms of intentional hyperventilation.
  • Dizziness and disorientation are caused by spinning on a chair.
  • Breathing via a straw causes dyspnea and airway tightness.
  • Holding your breath causes the sense of being out of breath.
  • Running in place raises heart rate, breathing, and sweat production.
  • Tension in the body – provides a sense of being tense and watchful.


The goal of panic disorder treatment is to lessen the amount of panic episodes you have and to make your symptoms less severe.
The two primary kinds of treatment for panic disorder are psychological counselling and medicines.
Find out how to treat panic disorder and what you can do to aid yourself during a panic attack in this article.
Driving abilities may be harmed if you suffer from panic disorder. It is your legal responsibility to notify the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) of any medical condition that may affect your ability to drive.
More information and guidance regarding driving with a disability or health condition may be found on GOV.UK.
Panic disorder is a significant health condition that may be successfully managed in many situations, despite the fact that there is no known cure.
It’s critical to find therapies that provide a full response while also reducing the risk of recurrence.
The therapies of choice for panic disorder include cognitive behavioral therapy and panic-specific positive self-talk.
According to several studies, 85 to 90% of panic disorder patients treated with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) recover entirely from their panic episodes within 12 weeks.
Pharmacotherapy can be utilized when cognitive behavioral therapy is not an option. SSRIs are a first-line pharmacotherapeutic treatment choice.
Panic disorder is curable, but it’s critical to seek medical care as soon as possible if you want to achieve a full recovery. If you get treatment for panic disorder early on, it will be far more successful.
Panic disorder may be an extremely severe and lonely condition if left untreated. It can also raise your chances of getting other mental health problems like agoraphobia or other phobias.
Agoraphobia is the dread of being trapped in a situation where escaping is difficult or when aid is unavailable if anything goes wrong.


Although phobias are frequently the outcome of panic disorder, panic disorder is not the same as phobic symptoms.
CBT and one type of psychodynamic psychotherapy have both been demonstrated to be effective in the treatment of panic disorder, both with and without agoraphobia.
CBT reaches reported panic-free status in 70–90% of patients approximately 2 years following therapy, according to a number of randomized clinical studies.
A 2009 Cochrane study found insufficient data to make recommendations on the efficacy of psychotherapy in combination with benzodiazepines.


Panic disorder can be treated with the right medicine.
Because of concerns about tolerance, dependency, and misuse, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are preferred over benzodiazepines as first-line therapy.
Although there is limited evidence that pharmaceutical therapies may directly modify phobias, few trials have been conducted, and treating panic with medicine makes treating phobias much simpler (an example in Europe where only 8 percent of patients receive appropriate treatment).
Caffeine withdrawal can significantly lessen anxiety in some persons.
Caffeine can cause anxiety to spike for a short period of time.

Tags: Psychiatric illness

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