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Panic disorder

Our trusted mental health providers specialize in treating panic disorder and are dedicated to helping you overcome this challenging condition.

Frequently asked questions about panic disorder

Panic disorder is a type of anxiety condition in which an individual experiences recurring and unexpected panic attacks. Panic attacks are sudden episodes of intense fear or discomfort that peak within minutes and can include physical symptoms such as sweating, shaking, and difficulty breathing. Panic attacks can be triggered by specific situations, such as driving or being in a crowded space, or can occur unexpectedly.

In panic disorder, panic attacks often come out of nowhere, and the fear of experiencing another panic attack may be just as distressing as the panic attack itself. People may begin avoiding situations where they think a panic attack might happen, such as social gatherings, work, or school. These avoidance behaviors can significantly impact someone’s everyday life and make it difficult to engage in normal activities. 

Though it may feel overwhelming, panic disorder is a treatable condition. Through a combination of therapy, medication management, and behavioral interventions, individuals experiencing recurrent panic attacks can find ways to manage their symptoms and lead confident, fulfilling lives. 

The primary symptom of panic disorder is recurrent, unexpected panic attacks. Panic attacks are characterized by sudden, intense fear or discomfort that can be accompanied by physical symptoms such as:

  • Rapid heartbeat or palpitations
  • Sweating
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Shortness of breath or feelings of suffocation
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Nausea or stomach upset
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Chills or hot flashes

After a panic attack, individuals with panic disorder often experience persistent worry about the possibility of having another attack. They may also avoid situations they fear could trigger a panic attack.

Experiencing a panic attack does not necessarily mean you have panic disorder. Panic attacks can occur in response to stressful situations, and many people may have a panic attack at some point in their lives. Panic attacks can also be part of other mental health conditions. For example, people with social anxiety disorder may experience panic attacks related to social situations, and those with specific phobias may experience panic attacks triggered by certain feared objects. In panic disorder, panic attacks often occur without warning, and the fear of having another panic attack can significantly impact everyday life.

If you are not sure how to tell if you’re having a panic attack, or if severe anxiety is affecting your everyday life, it is always best to consult with your healthcare provider or counselor. A qualified mental health professional can help evaluate your symptoms and recommend treatment when needed.

Panic disorder is diagnosed through a clinical assessment by a mental health professional. Your Geode provider will ask about your symptoms, medical history, and personal circumstances to determine if you meet the criteria for the condition. These criteria include:

  • Recurrent, unexpected panic attacks
  • Persistent worry about having another panic attack
  • Avoidance of situations where panic attacks may occur or where escape may be difficult
  • Significant distress or impairment in daily functioning

Like most mental health conditions, panic disorder can co-occur with other mental health conditions, such as depression or substance use disorder. Your provider will work with you to determine an accurate diagnosis and develop a personalized treatment plan.

Overcome panic disorder with effective treatment

If you are experiencing symptoms of panic disorder, you do not have to face them alone. Seeking help from a mental health professional can provide you with effective strategies to manage recurrent panic attacks and help you regain control over your life.

At Geode Health, we have a team of experienced providers who specialize in treating panic disorder and are dedicated to helping you overcome this challenging condition. The right treatment and support can reduce the frequency and intensity of panic attacks, improve your quality of life, and help you feel more confident in facing life’s challenges. Don’t let panic disorder control your life any longer – take the first step towards healing by finding a provider in your area today.

If you are in crisis and in need of immediate support

Please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by dialing 988 or text the Crisis Text Line by texting HELLO to 741741