Panic Disorder Symptoms, Causes, and Effects

Panic disorder is a brief period of extreme dread that results in strong bodily symptoms in the absence of any real danger or apparent cause. Panic attacks may be terrifying. When you have a panic attack, you may believe you are losing control, suffering a heart attack, or even dying.

Many people have one or two panic attacks throughout their lives, and the condition resolves itself, sometimes when a stressful circumstance ends. However, if you’ve experienced recurring, sudden panic attacks and spent lengthy amounts of time terrified of another attack, you may have panic disorder.

Panic Disorder Symptoms

Panic disorders usually start quickly and without notice. They may happen at any moment, whether you’re driving a car, shopping at the mall, sleeping, or in the middle of a business meeting. You may get panic episodes on occasion or on a regular basis.

Panic attacks can manifest in a variety of ways, but symptoms often peak within minutes. After a panic episode, you may feel tired and exhausted.

Some of the indications or symptoms of a panic attack are as follows:

  • Sense of impending doom or danger
  • Fear of loss of control or death
  • Rapid, pounding heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Shortness of breath or tightness in your throat
  • Chills
  • Hot flashes
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Chest pain
  • Headache
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness or faintness
  • Numbness or tingling sensation
  • Feeling of unreality or detachment

One of the most distressing aspects of panic attacks is the great anxiety of having another one. You may be so afraid of panic attacks that you avoid circumstances where they are likely to occur.

What Are the Types of Panic Disorders?

  • Panic Disorder (Characterized by Anxiety or Panic Attacks): Panic disorder is characterized by two main symptoms: fear and concern. Even when there is no actual risk, afflicted persons experience bodily sensations such as nausea, heavy breathing, and shivering as though a harm is near. These folks are also always concerned about when the next panic episode may come.
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): You may have generalized anxiety disorder if you are worried by negative things but the likelihood of their occurring is relatively low. In such circumstances, you may simply feel anxious all of the time for no apparent reason. These fears are so unusual that they interfere with your regular routines and your capacity to relax.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): Obsessive-compulsive disorder is another type of panic or anxiety condition. Unwanted activities and ideas that overpower your self-control are examples of characteristics. For example, if you haven’t switched off the iron or stove before leaving the house, your mind can’t help but worry. You may also feel compelled to overly repeat specific tasks, such as hand washing.
  • Phobias: are excessive fears of certain items, activities, and events. Even if the things you’re afraid of aren’t really dangerous, your dread is likely to be exaggerated. Fear of heights, flying, insects, and snakes are all common instances. People who suffer from phobias frequently avoid the things that fear them, as confronting them typically worsens their condition.
  • Social Anxiety Disorder: Social anxiety disorder, often known as social phobia, is characterized by an intense dread of gaining a negative reputation. Individuals with this syndrome tend to be highly timid and avoid social contacts for fear of being embarrassed in public. Stage fear is a classic form of social phobia.
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Traumatic occurrences, such as near-death experiences or military service, can lead people to feel depressed, terrified, and disconnected from others. Such negative consequences remain for lengthy periods of time in those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, leading to hypervigilance and an inability to live normally.

What Causes a Panic Attack or Anxiety Attack?

The actual origins of panic or anxiety episodes are unknown, according to the American Psychological Association. Some research, on the other hand, refers to genetic and biochemical roots. The assaults are also frequently linked to phobias, drug misuse, sadness, and suicidal ideation.

  • Genetics
  • Major stress
  • Temperament that is more sensitive to stress or prone to negative emotions
  • Certain changes in the way parts of your brain function

According to some studies, panic episodes are caused by your body’s normal fight-or-flight response to danger. If a grizzly bear charging at you, your body would respond automatically. As your body prepared for a life-threatening circumstance, your heart rate and breathing rate would increase. In a panic attack, many of the same reflexes occur. However, it is uncertain why a panic episode arises when there is no visible risk.

Risk factors for panic disorder

Panic disorder symptoms often appear in late adolescence or early adulthood and affect more women than males. The following factors may raise the likelihood of acquiring panic episodes or panic disorder:

  • Family history of panic attacks or panic disorder
  • Major life stress, such as the death or serious illness of a loved one
  • A traumatic event, such as sexual assault or a serious accident
  • Major changes in your life, such as a divorce or the addition of a baby
  • Smoking or excessive caffeine intake
  • History of childhood physical or sexual abuse


Panic attacks and panic disorder, if left untreated, may have a negative impact on practically every aspect of your life. You may be so frightened of experiencing further panic attacks that you live in continual terror, destroying your quality of life.

Complications caused or connected to by panic episodes include:

  • Development of specific phobias, such as fear of driving or leaving your home
  • Frequent medical care for health concerns and other medical conditions
  • Avoidance of social situations
  • Problems at work or school
  • Depression, anxiety disorders and other psychiatric disorders
  • Increased risk of suicide or suicidal thoughts
  • Alcohol or other substance misuse
  • Financial problems

For certain people, panic disorder may be accompanied by agoraphobia, which is the dread of being unable to leave or seek treatment if they experience a panic episode. Alternatively, you may become dependant on people to accompany you when you leave the house.


Seek help for panic attacks. as soon as possible to help prevent them from worsening or becoming more common.

Stick with your treatment. strategy to aid in the prevention of relapses or worsening of panic attack symptoms

PartGet regular physical activity: which may play a function in anxiety prevention