Managing Panic Disorder and How to Identify It

Woman with Panic Disorder

Managing Panic Disorder and How to Identify It

Unreasonable feelings of fear and anxiety can often cause physical symptoms, such as fast breathing, sweating, and increased heart rate. When these attacks occur regularly, they’re often attributed to panic attacks. Panic attacks can occur as frequently as several times a day or as rarely as a few times a year, and people who experience panic attacks regularly can be diagnosed with panic disorder. People with panic disorder have attacks that create sudden feelings of fear, discomfort, or lack of control of their circumstances, but not everyone with panic attacks will develop a panic disorder. Today, we’ll be going over the symptoms of panic disorder and how to find help when it begins to affect your quality of life. 

The Causes and Symptoms of Panic Disorder

For some people, panic disorders run in families, and many psychologists aren’t exactly sure why some family members have panic disorders and others don’t. However, some scientists have determined that there are certain biological processes and structures that play a role in the development of panic attacks. According to them, some researchers believe that panic attacks are the body’s survival instincts activating too strongly or frequently, similar to false alarms. These false alarms can create a terrible cycle where fear dominates and continues the cycle endlessly, leading to panic disorder. Among the biological reasons, many psychologists also are searching for ways that stress and environment play a role in this disorder, but many studies are still in the in vitro stages of development, and thus more research is needed to confirm these effects. 

What psychologists do know is that panic disorder can and does occur and that for those who do have panic disorder, there are obvious symptoms that create continuous cycles of panic attacks and consistent fear for those affected. These symptoms include: 

  • Frequent Panic Attacks: One of the primary symptoms is sudden, repeated panic attacks that come out of overwhelming anxiety and fear. These panic attacks, as previously stated, can occur several times a day to about once a week and often cause a severe impact on one’s ability to function and interact in their daily lives. 
  • Feelings of Doom: Feelings that precede panic attacks, including the fear of death, feelings of impending doom, and feelings of being out of control, can typically occur for those with panic disorder. 
  • Intense Worrying: People who constantly deal with panic attacks may fret or worry constantly about the next period that a panic attack may occur. 
  • Avoidance Methods: In response to the worrying and consistent panic attacks, they will often avoid places from their past that create panic attacks or avoid thinking about topics that spark these events. 
  • Other Physical Symptoms: Symptoms such as chills, racing heart rate, dizziness, chest pain, and nausea are just some of the symptoms that occur with this condition and typically occur during a panic attack. 

Finding Treatment For Consistent Panic Attacks

It’s important in these cases that if you feel that you are suffering from intense, repetitive panic attacks, then it’s highly recommended that you see a certified therapist, psychiatrist, or psychologist for an official diagnosis. From there, your medical professional can help recommend treatments that give you more peace of mind and remove you from the vicious cycle. 

Share This Blog:


April is the founder of Prestige Mental Health and is a board certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP-BC) who is qualified to practice primary care and psychiatry. She is passionate about providing quality, compassionate, and comprehensive mental health services to children, adolescents, and adults. April specializes in psychiatric illnesses including but not limited to depression, anxiety, ADD/ADHD, PTSD/trauma, bipolar, and schizophrenia.