Panic disorder is an anxiety disorder characterized by reoccurring unexpected panic attacks. Panic attacks are sudden periods of intense fear that may include palpitations, sweating, shaking, shortness of breath, numbness, or a feeling that something terrible is going to happen. The maximum degree of symptoms occurs within minutes. There may be ongoing worries about having further attacks and avoidance of places where attacks have occurred in the past.
Sudden periods of intense fear, palpitations, sweating, shaking ,shortness of breath and numbness.
Family history, smoking, psychological stress and history of child abuse.
Panic disorder is generally treated with psychotherapy, medication, or both. Talk with your doctor about the best treatment for you. Psychotherapy. A type of psychotherapy called cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is especially useful as a first-line treatment for panic disorder.
Medications can help reduce symptoms associated with panic attacks as well as depression if that’s an issue for you. Several types of medication have been shown to be effective in managing symptoms of panic attacks, including:
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Generally safe with a low risk of serious side effects, SSRI antidepressants are typically recommended as the first choice of medications to treat panic attacks. SSRIs include fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva) and sertraline (Zoloft).
Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs).
Benzodiazepines. These sedatives are central nervous system depressants and include alprazolam (Xanax) and clonazepam (Klonopin).