What is Panic Disorder?
Usually accompanies anxiety therefore it is co-morbid but can be independent of it. It is characterized by: feelings of intense fear, trouble breathing, trouble walking, sight/vision may go fuzzy, rapid heartbeat, increased blood pressure, pupil dilation. These are the symptoms of a panic attack. To have panic disorder however, one needs to have a panic attack and then be obsessed with the thought of having another one. An individual with panic disorder is obsessively afraid of having another panic attack they may stop doing things in their lives that interfere with day-to-day functioning. Such as not going to school, to work or seeing friends. They preoccupy themselves with safety and are constantly worried that they might experience another panic attack. They are on high alert and have trouble relaxing or not thinking about panic attacks. If they do experience another one, it intensifies their already existing fear and makes the cycle even stronger.
What is the relationship between Panic Disorder and Agoraphobia?
· Panic disorder—disorder in which panic attacks occur frequently enough to cause the person difficulty in adjusting to daily life
· Agoraphobia – fear of being in a place or situation from which escape is difficult or impossible
· Panic disorder with Agoraphobia – fear of leaving ones familiar surroundings because one might have a panic attack in public
· Panic attack: sudden onset of intense panic in which multiple physical symptoms of stress occur, often with feeling that one is dying