Panic disorder a disorder caused by fear and anxiety which follow one after the other, creating a vicious loop characterised by recurring and regular panic attacks. A panic attack is an unexpected episode of intense fear and associated physical symptoms of anxiety.
Of course, it is natural to experience fear at times. However, for someone with a panic disorder, these fears and anxiety-filled feelings are incredibly intense, occur on a regular basis, and can arise at any given time, usually for no obvious reasons, making their daily life very hard to live. This makes panic disorder unpredictable, which can add to the associated fear and anxiety.
Other conditions may cause severe anxiety and may be related to panic disorder. The most common of these are:
A panic attack can be an incredibly frightening experience and can lead to increased anxiety about experiencing another one in the future. There are two main forms of treatment for panic disorder: therapy and/or medication.
A common type of therapy is cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) with panic disorder counsellors, although other talking therapies may also be suitable. Antidepressant medication is sometimes also used to treat panic disorder and research indicates that this is successful in over half of cases of panic disorder.
There are also several self-help techniques for panic disorder. These include:
– positive visualisation – learning not to fight the symptoms of a panic attack – relaxation techniques – regular exercise
These are all areas that may also be explored in depth by a therapist who will work towards symptom relief and improvement of the condition.