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Panic disorder

Panic disorder is a mental health condition where you have regular panic attacks.

Symptoms of panic disorder include feeling anxious and having sudden panic attacks.

Panic disorder is usually treated with talking therapies and medicines. Things like exercise, massage, breathing techniques and yoga can also help.

Read more on the NHS website.

Symptoms of panic disorder include feeling anxious and having sudden panic attacks.

Symptoms of panic disorder

Anxiety

Anxiety is a feeling of unease. It can range from mild to severe, and can include feelings of worry and fear. The most severe form of anxiety is panic.

You may start to avoid certain situations because you fear they'll trigger another attack.

This can create a cycle of living "in fear of fear". It can add to your sense of panic and may cause you to have more attacks.

Panic attacks

A panic attack is when your body experiences a rush of intense mental and physical symptoms. It can come on very quickly and for no apparent reason.

A panic attack can be very frightening and distressing.

Symptoms include:

Most panic attacks last for between 5 and 20 minutes. Some panic attacks have been reported to last up to an hour.

The number of attacks you have will depend on how severe your condition is. Some people have attacks once or twice a month, while others have them several times a week.

Although panic attacks are frightening, they're not dangerous. An attack won't cause you any physical harm, and it's unlikely that you'll be admitted to hospital if you have one.

Be aware that most of these symptoms can also be symptoms of other conditions or problems, so you may not always be experiencing a panic attack.

For example, you may have a racing heartbeat if you have very low blood pressure.

Read more on the NHS website.

Panic disorder is usually treated with talking therapies and medicines. Things like exercise, massage, breathing techniques and yoga can also help.

Medical treatments

Treatment aims to reduce the number of panic attacks you have and ease your symptoms.

Psychological (talking) therapies and medicine are the main treatments for panic disorder.

Depending on your symptoms, you may need 1 of these treatments or a combination of the 2.

Self-care

What to do during a panic attack

The next time you feel a panic attack coming on, try the following:

  • do not fight the attack
  • stay where you are, if possible
  • breathe slowly and deeply
  • remind yourself that the attack will pass
  • focus on positive, peaceful and relaxing images
  • remember it's not life threatening

Preventing a further attack

It may also help to:

Read more on the NHS website.