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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. Panic is the most severe form of anxiety.

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

During a panic attack you get 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 between 5 and 20 minutes. Some 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 will not cause you any physical harm, and it's unlikely 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.

Talking therapies and medicine are the main treatments for panic disorder. Your treatment will depend on your symptoms.

Self-care

What to do during a panic attack

The next time you feel a panic attack coming on:

  • do not fight it
  • 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 help to:

Read more on the NHS website.