Panic disorder is a mental health condition. People with panic disorder experience unexpected and repeated episodes of intense fear. These episodes can sometimes lead to physical symptoms, such as chest pain, shortness of breath, or a racing heart. A panic attack is a term used when describing the intense fear felt by people with Panic Disorder.
A panic disorder can be extremely debilitating and many people diagnosed with this condition have trouble functioning in their everyday lives. This article will explore the basics of panic disorders, including what it entails, how to know if you might have one, and most importantly, how to stop them from controlling your life.
What Causes Panic Disorder?
The root cause of the panic disorder is still unknown. However, several theories attempt to explain why some people begin experiencing panic attacks and other symptoms associated with this condition. The first theory suggests that these individuals possess an overly sensitive amygdala (the almond-shaped part of the brain responsible for assessing threats). This may occur if they have suffered from severe neglect or abuse in their childhood years. It has been found by researchers studying the correlation between mental illness and physical illness, particularly autoimmune diseases such as lupus, Crohn’s disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis, that stress can set off the autoimmune response. If somebody has an overly sensitive amygdala, they may experience panic attacks in response to stress long before anyone else would.
Another theory suggests that the people affected by Panic Disorder possess an overactive Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal axis (HPA). This results in them experiencing more severe physical symptoms when they are under high levels of stress for lengthy periods. Stress causes the release of cortisol from the adrenal glands which then floods into all parts of the body including brain cells. These floodgates open up when people are under significant amounts of stress due to difficult life situations or anything else that brings about strong negative emotions.
First Understand Stress:
To understand panic attacks and panic disorder, we must first define what stress is. Stress is a reaction that humans experience when they feel threatened or under pressure. The problem occurs when they begin reacting to things that do not require this reaction (such as traffic jams) but also react to major events in their lives (like receiving bad news). When somebody has stress, they are likely to experience extreme mental and physical symptoms. These symptoms include shakes, sweats, elevated heart rate, shortness of breath, chest pains, numbness in the hands and feet, ringing or buzzing in the ears. When somebody is under severe stress for a long time it can lead to major health problems including depression and anxiety.
People with panic disorder typically suffer from specific phobias such as fear of crowds (social phobia), elevators (claustrophobia), flying (aerophobia), or driving on highways (motorphobia). These people often anticipate something terrible will happen when they encounter their particular phobia; therefore they try to avoid these situations at all costs. This avoidance comes at a price though. They can become afraid of simply being in any public place and this may lead to them not leaving their house for days or weeks at a time.
How People Deal With Panic Disorder:
If somebody discovers that they suffer from panic disorder, they typically experience feelings of shame and embarrassment. This is why it often takes years before somebody seeks treatment for this condition. There are also many myths about panic disorders that prevent people from seeking help in the first place. Many people believe that the only treatment available for a panic attack is to be prescribed medication by a doctor. However, there are other options out there such as psychotherapy, which can help you to discover the root cause behind your anxiety and learn how to live a more relaxed life.
There has been much debate over whether or not Panic Disorder should exist as a medical diagnosis. Some people think that these attacks occur simply from being under severe stress from everyday problems such as job loss, divorce, financial difficulties, or illness. There is also the opinion that this diagnosis sends a message to people that it is okay to be mentally unstable and unwell.