Panic Disorder

Panic disorder is a type of anxiety disorder characterized by intense, recurrent, and unexpected panic attacks. Fear and anxiety are common reactions to scary or stressful events, but a person with panic disorder experiences symptoms including severe feelings of terror, rapid breathing, chest pain, and an accelerated heart rate—either out of proportion to the situation, or occurring repeatedly without clearly identifiable stressors.

The exact causes of panic disorder are not clearly understood, but experts believe a combination of psychological, behavioral, and environmental factors are at play.

Panic disorder affects 2.7% of the U.S. adult population each year. Fortunately, with a combination of therapy and medication, people with panic disorder can manage their condition.

Key Terms

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What Is Panic Disorder?
The Chemical Messaging System of the Human Brain
How to Recognise a Panic Attack
How Long Do Panic Attacks Last?
Here's How to Deal With Doomscrolling
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Panic Attack: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments
Irrational Beliefs Can Worsen Panic Disorder Symptoms
How Perfectionism Can Contribute to Anxiety
How to Stop Chronic Worrying so It Doesn't Ruin Your Life
How to Change Your Self-Defeating Beliefs
Panic Attacks Can Occur in Your Sleep
How to Recognize and Cope With Panic Attack Symptoms
Did You Know There Are Different Types of Panic Attacks?
Why Panic Attacks Cause Shortness of Breath
What Are the Physical Symptoms of Panic and Anxiety Disorders?
Why Panic Attacks Can Cause Difficulty Breathing
What Happens During an Anxiety Attack
Is Your Anxiety Caused by a Mental Health Condition?
How to Manage The Feeling of Life Being Out of Control
Common Maladaptive Behaviors Related to Panic Disorder
Chest Pain Symptoms and Panic Disorder
Common Panic Disorder Symptoms, Attacks, and Agoraphobia
How to Tell If Panicky Symptoms Are a Sign of Disorder
Frightening Thoughts Are Common for Those With Panic Disorder
How to Treat the Fight or Flight Stress Response With Panic Disorder
How Parents Can Help Teens Who Have Agoraphobia and Panic Disorder
Could You Have Been Diagnosed With the Wrong Mental Health Disorder?
Panic Disorder Can Occur Early in Adolescence
How Do Specialists Diagnose Panic Disorder?
What to Expect During a Panic Attack
DSM-5 Criteria for Diagnosing Panic Disorder
Should You Take Prozac to Treat Panic Disorder?
How EMDR Therapy Works
How Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Can Help Relieve Panic Disorder
What is Psychoeducation and Can It Help with Panic Disorder?
Drugs That Increase the Risk of Serotonin Syndrome
How Cognitive Behavior Modification Works
Can You Overdose on Serotonin?
Do Antidepressants Give Immediate Relief for Depression?
Types of Antidepressants for Panic Disorder
Causes and Prevention of Weight Gain From Antidepressants
Paxil for Panic Disorder: How it Works, Side Effects, and More
A Treatment Plan of SSRI Antidepressants Can Help Panic Disorder
Common Therapy Treatments for Panic Disorder
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) for Panic and Anxiety
Systematic Desensitization for Treating Panic Disorder Fears
Systematic Desensitization to Stop Panic Attacks
How Therapy Dogs Can Help With Panic and Anxiety
Herbal Supplements to Try for Relief of Panic and Anxiety Symptoms
The Differences Between Drug Addiction and Dependence
How Prescribed Klonopin Can Treat Panic Disorder
The Top Treatment Options for Panic Disorder
Reasons Why Therapy May Not Be Working
Can Acupuncture Help Treat Anxiety?
How Hypnosis Can Treat Your Panic Disorder Symptoms
Page Sources
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  1. National Institute of Mental Health. Panic disorder. Updated 2016.