Panic Disorder

 

Panic is generally perceived as a severe and intense form of anxiety that may appear spontaneously or in response to some threat.

 

Panic attacks are distinct periods of intense but relatively short-lived (lasting not more than 10 minutes) anxiety or fear, which is accompanied by symptoms such as palpitation, sweating, trembling, breathlessness, fear of losing control, etc.

 

Panic Disorders are repeated unexpected panic attacks followed by at least a month of the following features:

 

  • Persistent concern about having more such attacks (anticipatory anxiety).
  • Worry about implications of having an attack or change in behavior related to attacks (e.g. avoiding individual or situations known as avoidance).
  • Significant distress to the affected individual in public places so much so that he avoids moving out in public (known as agoraphobia).
  • Increased vulnerability to Depression, alcohol abuse, social & job related dysfunction.
  • Association with heart disease (about 50% cases are known to have mitral valve prolapse) lead to functional impairment.

 

Management includes use of antidepressants or Benzodiazepines (valium or calmpose like medication) and cognitive behavioral therapy.