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What is Panic Disorder

What is Panic Disorder


Panic disorder manifests itself in unexpected or unpredictable attacks of extreme anxiety, with symptoms including rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, trembling, sweating, nausea and dizziness. Some may have chest pain or smothering sensations, and/or a sense of unreality. Hands may tingle or feel numb, and some feel flushed or chilled Some victims feel they are losing their minds or are about to die.  They have a fear of impending doom or loss of control. Many become so obsessively worried about subsequent attacks that they make major changes in their behaviours, shunning whatever situation may have prompted the panic.

People with panic disorder have feelings of terror that strike suddenly and repeatedly with no warning. They can’t predict when an attack will occur, and many develop intense anxiety between episodes, worrying when and where the next one will strike. In between times there is a persistent, lingering worry that another attack could come any minute.

Attacks can occur any time, even during nondream sleep. While most attacks average a couple of minutes, occasionally they can go on for up to 10 minutes. In rare cases, they may last an hour or more.

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