What is panic disorder?
Panic disorder is diagnosed when panic attacks happen regularly, when they cause you worry and disrupt your daily life.
Author: Idan Ben-Barak
First answered: 09 Jul 2015
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.7/5 Votes: 461
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Panic disorder is when your regular panic attacks - which include symptoms such as a pounding heartbeat, sweating, shaking, chest pain, nausea, feelings of unreality and fear of dying - cause you to worry about them or about other people noticing …
It is not known what exactly causes panic disorder. It is thought that panic attacks are caused by problems in the circuitry of the brain that controls the physical response to stress.
Panic disorder is usually first experienced in adolescence and young adulthood. Women are twice as likely as men to have panic disorder.
Your doctor will likely take your medical history and perform a physical examination.
Panic disorder can be treated by medication as well as by psychotherapy.
Treatment can help panic disorder. In some cases the disorder is completely managed, while in others, treatment helps reduce (but not eliminate completely) the frequency and severity of symptoms.