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Panic disorder is a type of anxiety disorder. It causes panic attacks, which are sudden feelings of terror when there is no real danger. You may feel as if you are losing control. You may also have physical symptoms, such as:
- Fast heartbeat
- Chest or stomach pain
- Breathing difficulty
- Weakness or dizziness
- Feeling hot or a cold chill
- Tingly or numb hands
Panic attacks can happen anytime, anywhere, and without warning. You may live in fear of another attack and may avoid places where you have had an attack. For some people, fear takes over their lives and they cannot leave their homes.
Panic disorder is more common in women than men. It usually starts when people are young adults. Sometimes it starts when a person is under a lot of stress. Most people get better with treatment. Therapy can show you how to recognize and change your thinking patterns before they lead to panic. Medicines can also help.
NIH: National Institute of Mental Health
- Panic Attacks and Panic Disorder (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in Spanish
- Panic Disorder (American Academy of Family Physicians) Also in Spanish
- Panic Disorder: When Fear Overwhelms (National Institute of Mental Health) Also in Spanish
Diagnosis and Tests
- Panic Disorder Test (National Library of Medicine) Also in Spanish
Treatments and Therapies
- Mental Health Medications (National Institute of Mental Health)
- Psychotherapies (National Institute of Mental Health)
Statistics and Research
- Panic Disorder among Adults (National Institute of Mental Health)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Panic Disorder (National Institutes of Health)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: CBT treatment delivery formats for panic disorder: a systematic review and...
- Article: The Bergen 4-day treatment for panic disorder: implementation in a rural...
- Article: Stigmatization, panic disorder, and death anxiety among patients of Covid-19: Fourth...
- Panic Disorder -- see more articles
Find an Expert
- Anxiety and Depression Association of America
- Find a Therapist (Anxiety and Depression Association of America)
- Help for Mental Illnesses (National Institute of Mental Health) Also in Spanish
- National Institute of Mental Health Also in Spanish
- Panic Disorder (American Academy of Pediatrics) Also in Spanish
- Panic Disorder in Children and Adolescents (American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry)
- Agoraphobia (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish
- Panic disorder (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish