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Panic Disorder

Overview

Panic disorder is an anxiety disorder. It causes panic attacks, which are sudden feelings of terror for no reason. You may also feel physical symptoms, such as

  • Fast heartbeat
  • Chest pain
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Dizziness
Panic attacks can happen anytime, anywhere and without warning. You may live in fear of another attack and may avoid places where you have had an attack. For some people, fear takes over their lives and they cannot leave their homes.

Panic disorder is more common in women than men. It usually starts when people are young adults. Sometimes it starts when a person is under a lot of stress. Most people get better with treatment. Therapy can show you how to recognize and change your thinking patterns before they lead to panic. Medicines can also help.

Source: MedlinePlus

Note: This topic was prepared to help consumers find reliable health resources on the web. This site is not responsible for the information on other sites. The information here — and on all websites — is not intended to be a substitute for care given to you by a health professional.

Recommended Reading

Mayo Clinic
This site provides an overview of panic disorder as well as its signs and symptoms, causes, seeking medical advice, screening and diagnosis, treatment, complications and self-care.

National Institute of Mental Health
Besides information about panic disorder, its signs and symptoms, treatment and seeking help, this site also provides links to news, publications and research.

National Alliance on Mental Health
Besides general information about panic disorder, this site also offers definitions about phobia in general and different kinds of phobias related to panic disorder, different therapy, links to online discussions, resources, clinical trials, other organizations and more.

Anxiety and Depression Association of America
This website provides information about panic disorder and how its symptoms are similar to ones experienced with heart attacks, thyroid disorders and breathing disorders. It also explains the link between panic disorder and agoraphobia, because people with panic disorder fear returning to places where they have had a panic attack.

Local Resources

Connections
Mental Health Connections is a joint project of SummitStone Health Partners and the Health District, providing mental health and substance abuse resources for Larimer County residents.

HealthInfoSource.com
Search this site to find a therapist or other mental health professional in the Fort Collins area.

Poudre River Public Library District
Search the library collection for books about panic disorder, or use the library's health, sciences and technology databases.

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