Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Panic Disorder Overview

Another name for Panic Disorder is Panic Attacks.

What are panic attacks?
A person with panic attacks has repeated episodes of intense fear. The cause of panic attacks is unknown. About 10 percent of people in the US have experienced panic attacks. Panic attacks account for more emergency room visits than any other psychiatric illness.

What are the symptoms of panic attacks?
Symptoms of panic attacks include anxiety, fear of dying, fear of losing control, chest pain, dizziness, difficulty breathing, hot flashes, hyperventilation, rapid pulse, palpitations, nausea, tremor, and numbness and tingling in the fingers and toes.

How does the doctor treat panic attacks?
The treatment for panic attacks includes stress reduction, mental health counseling, support groups, and biofeedback. Additional treatment for panic attacks may include anti-anxiety medications or antidepressants. Treatment for hyperventilation may include instructions on how to breathe into a paper bag.

Continue to Panic Disorder Incidence

Last Updated: Feb 11, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Panic Disorder References
  1. Goodwin R, Olfson M. Treatment of panic attack and risk of major depressive disorder in the community. Am J Psychiatry. 2001 Jul;158(7):1146-8. [11431239]
  2. Goodwin RD, Lieb R, Hoefler M, Pfister H, Bittner A, Beesdo K, Wittchen HU. Panic attack as a risk factor for severe psychopathology. Am J Psychiatry. 2004 Dec;161(12):2207-14. [15569891]
  3. Watanabe A, Nakao K, Tokuyama M, Takeda M. Prediction of first episode of panic attack among white-collar workers. Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2005 Apr;59(2):119-26. [15823155]
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