What is a Panic Disorder?
It’s a emotional and behavioral disorder characterized by the recurrent, unexpected onset of Panic attacks.
It’s normally called and wrongly treated as recurrent “heart attacks”, “nervous breakdown” or “losing control of self”.
What are the Symptoms?
1. Recurrent, unexpected Panic attacks.
2. The attacks are generally followed by at least 1 month of the following:
a) persistent concern about having additional attacks
b) worry about the implications of the attack or its consequences (e.g., losing control, having a heart attack, "going crazy")
c) a significant change in behavior related to the attacks
What is a Panic Attack?
A) A small period of intense fear or discomfort.
B) It develops abruptly
C) It reaches its peak within 10min and doesn’t last more than an hour.
D) Four or more of the following symptoms are present:
1. palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate
3. trembling or shaking
4. sensations of shortness of breath or smothering
5. feeling of choking
6. chest pain or discomfort
7. nausea or abdominal distress
8. feeling dizzy, unsteady, lightheaded, or faint
9. derealization (feelings of unreality) or depersonalization (being detached from oneself)
10. fear of losing control or going crazy
11. fear of dying
12. paresthesias (numbness or tingling sensations)
13. chills or hot flushes
What is the Treatment?
1. Counseling- Psychoanalysis, supportive therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, NLP and REBT are effective counseling modalities
2. Natural methods like yoga, meditation, deep breathing, self-hypnosis are effective long term measures.
3. New age, non-sedative, non-addictive medications are required for some.