Panic Disorder: What Is It And When Should You Seek Psychiatric Help?

If you experience frequent panic attacks for seemingly no reason, you may be suffering from panic disorder. Panic disorders can be debilitating, and they can prevent you from going outside and enjoying activities because of the fear of having another sudden panic attack come from nowhere. Thankfully, psychiatric treatment can help reduce the frequency of your panic attacks and allow you to live a normal life. To learn more about the features of panic disorder and to find out when you should seek psychiatric help for the condition, read on.

What Is Panic Disorder?

While many people will experience a panic attack or two during their lives, people who have panic disorder have them frequently. For people who have panic disorder, these panic attacks often aren't associated with any specific trigger, and they seem to happen randomly.

A defining feature of panic disorder is that people who have it live in fear of experiencing another sudden panic attack. Unfortunately, this can sometimes create a self-reinforcing feedback loop where the fear of having a panic attack can lead to one occurring. Experiencing a symptom of a panic attack like a fast heart rate can spiral into anxiety, leading to a full-blown panic attack.

When Should You Seek Psychiatric Help for Panic Disorder?

You should schedule an appointment with a psychiatrist if your frequent panic attacks are limiting your ability to live your life. It's common for people who have panic disorder to isolate themselves because they fear having a panic attack in public. Isolation can interfere with your ability to work, go to school, and socialize, so it has a severe negative impact on your life.

Psychiatrists can treat panic disorders with therapy and medication. Cognitive behavioral therapy is very useful for people who have panic disorder. It's a form of therapy that can help you control your thoughts and emotions when you're experiencing anxiety. This helps you feel more in control over your panic attacks, reducing the fear you feel about experiencing another one. Therapy is often combined with prescription medications like antidepressants and benzodiazepines, which can reduce the frequency and severity of your panic attacks. With a combination of therapy and medication, you can eliminate the hold that panic disorder has on your life.

If you suffer from frequent panic attacks and are fearful of having another one, schedule an appointment with a psychiatrist in your area and talk with the doctor about your panic disorder. You'll be able to begin treatment that can help you reclaim your life from your recurring panic attacks, helping you return to living your life without dreading the possibility of another sudden panic attack.

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