What is Panic Disorder?

What is Panic Disorder?

The hallmark of panic disorder is a sudden onset of intense fear called a panic or anxiety attack. Panic attacks can seem to occur "out of the blue" or in harmless situations. They often occur after prolonged periods of stress or life transitions such as marriage, a new job, or retirement.

Symptoms often include:

  • shortness of breath
  • heart palpitations or feeling "like a heart attack"
  • dizziness or lightheaded
  • fear of losing control
  • confusion
  • chest pains
  • trembling

Although these symptoms usually last a few minutes, they can reoccur. Another key feature, in addition to having two or more panic attacks, is a persistent fear of having another one. Counselling can be highly effective in overcoming panic disorders. If left unmanaged panic disorder can lead to situational avoidance, depression, phobias, or addictions.

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St. Albert, Alberta T8N 6K4