Panic Attacks & Panic Disorder

Originally posted as part of our PhD Stronger Together Module - Mental Health Conditions (December 2020).


Panic Attacks/Disorder Definition, Signs and Symptoms. All text in post.

Definition

Panic Disorder is characterized by panic attacks (feelings of fear) that last for several minutes or longer.


Signs and Symptoms

  1. Panic disorder: feeling of uncontrol, fear of death or fright of future events; extreme worry regarding the next attack, avoidance of triggers

  2. Panic attack: escalated heart rhythm, chills, trembling, stomach pain, nausea; numbness, shortness of breath, dizziness, sweating.


Panic Attacks/Disorder Stats, Demographics & Disparities. All text in post.

Stats, Demographics and Disparities

  • ~4.7% of adults in the US experience a panic disorder at some point in their lifetime

  • Prevalence is higher in women than in men

  • Native Americans have the highest rates of panic attack occurrence

  • Family history of panic attacks/disorder can increase chances of developing panic attack and/or panic disorder

  • Occurrence of a traumatic event and/or substance abuse can increase one’s chances of having a panic attack and/or developing panic disorder

Panic Attacks/Disorder Treatment and Care. All text in post.


Treatment and Care


  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)

  • Prescription medication

  • Interoceptive Exposure







Panic Attacks/Disorder Resources. All text in post.


Resources


  • Centre for Clinical Interventions (Australia)

  • Anxiety Disorders Association of Canada

  • Anxiety Helpline Resources UK

  • Anxiety & Depression Association of America

  • Anxiety Resource Center



*The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician, therapist or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.