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Panic Disorder Questions

What is a Panic Disorder?

A panic disorder is an anxiety disorder that can be characterized by severe panic attacks. This condition can also include behavioral changes that can last at least a month. The behavioral changes could cause an ongoing worry concerning the implications or concerns about future attacks. The concern over future attacks can be referred to as anticipatory attacks.

Someone can became anxious, stressed or even worried about when their next attack will happen since these attacks are not predicted. This condition can be differentiated as a chemical imbalance or as a medical condition. Attacks can be acute which are triggered by sudden, out-of-the-blue triggers. The duration can be short and symptoms can be shorter than an anxiety attack. These attacks can occur in adults as well as children. When the attacks occur in a child, they could be more distressing because they may not have any insight about what is happening. The disorder can be controlled and successfully treated, however it can become a disabling condition.

When someone is showing signs of panic disorders, questions can arise about the symptoms, causes and possible treatments. Read below for more questions that have been answered by Experts.

When was panic disorder first recognized as a diagnosis?

As early as the Civil War, panic disorders were thought to be a physical disorder of the heart. The symptoms of a panic disorder are referred to as a nervous exhaustion for several years. Although, the symptoms have been seen and noted for several years, this disorder as a recognized diagnosis to 1967. The diagnosis is linked to the work of McClure and Pitts. During studies McClure and Putts used different chemicals such as Sodium Lactate to try to cause the symptoms to occur.

What happens to the body when an attack occurs because of a panic disorder?

An increase in adrenaline from no external threat can cause a panic attack to occur. The release of adrenaline in the same occurrence could happen if an individual is faced with imminent, real danger. The body can go into a heightened state of arousal in order to prepare for flight or fight when the higher levels of adrenaline are released. When an external threat occurs, the mind may not notice the state the body is in such as a racing heart, shallow breathing and light headedness. When there is no external threat and the adrenaline is released, the mind recognizes that the body is in a state of arousal. The mind instantly determines that there is no external threat and looks internally. The racing heart can then cause the mind to trigger adrenaline to rise which is because of a malfunctioning pump.

What are alternative anxiety disorder treatments?

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a well-researched treatment for depression and panic disorders. Individuals can experience a relief of symptoms and feel more in control of managing any future symptoms when they engage in the therapy and continue to practice it. Consulting a medical practitioner can be important when weaning off medications. If the medication is not providing positive results, a medical practitioner may recommend a weaning program. When in the weaning process, this could cause side effects such as dizziness and sadness.

How long are medications used to treat panic disorders?

The duration and treatment plan can be determine by many factors. The most important factor is the severity of the symptoms that are present. therefore, each treatment plan can be different for each individual. The main goal of the treatment plan is to stop the panic attacks all together. Typically, the medications can be given for six to nine months. However, if there is a complete resolution and control of symptoms, the treatment can be stopped early. In order to prevent the early stopping of treatment, caution should be taken. If the symptoms are still occurring, the treatment plan may need to continue until all symptoms resolve.

This disorder was first recognized as a diagnosis in the 1960s. The body experiences a large increase of adrenalin when a panic attack occurs. Cognitive behavioral therapy can be beneficial in controlling the symptoms that can occur. For more information or answers to these questions, an individual can contact an Expert.
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