A person living with panic disorder will have experienced recurring panic attacks in addition to spending a significant period of time in fear of having another panic attack, resulting in a change in behaviour.
Is it a panic attack or panic disorder?
A panic attack can be a very scary experience for an individual and can be identified when a person has an overwhelming and intense fear resulting in a physical response in reaction to this fear. An individual can have a single panic attack in their lifetime or multiple scattered over years. To diagnose a panic attack, an individual must be 1005 clear of any substance which may have triggered a heightened level of anxiety.
A panic disorder is diagnosed if an individual has regular and recurring panic attacks and lives in fear of having another one. It is not always obvious what will have triggered the panic attack.
What does a panic attack feel like?
A panic attack often starts with an overwhelming and suffocating fear and feeling of disaster for which the person is unable to control. Physical symptoms include chest pain, which is why some panic attack sufferers often say they feel like they are having a heart attack. Other symptoms include chills, nausea, dry mouth, tinnitus, shaking, stomach churning, shivers, a need to go to the toilet.
Panic attacks last on average between 35 – 40 minutes and can be extremely distressing for the individual.
Can panic disorder by permanently cured?
Yes, there is no requirement for you to keep living in fear. Identifying the cause through talking therapy is key to building a fast-working treatment plan. Alongside this talking therapy, relaxation therapy, such as hypnotherapy, can be used to reduce the heightened levels of stress which can trigger panic attacks to occur. Online therapy can speed up the road to recovery enabling faster access to appointments and immediately minimise the fear of another panic attack.