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Behavioral Health

More on Panic Disorder

These attacks are much more intense than the feeling of being overly stressed, which most people experience from time to time. These symptoms often cause people to want to flee the situation.

Having one Panic Attack does not mean you have developed Panic Disorder. To meet criteria for Panic Disorder an individual has to have:

  1. Recurrent, Unexpected Attacks: occur out of the blue and are not associated with particular situations or triggers. People who experience panic symptoms in the presence of stimuli associated with particular fears or stressors may be suffering from other anxiety disorders (e.g., Specific Phobia or PTSD).
  2. Concerns about Subsequent Attacks: occur for a month or more after at least one of the attacks, and one or more of the following must occur:
    • Persistent concern about having additional attacks or their consequences (e.g., losing control, having a heart attack, "going crazy")
    • A significant change in behavior related to the attacks (behaviors designed to avoid having panic attacks)
  3. The disturbance is not due to a substance or another medical condition
  4. The disturbance is not explained by another mental disorder

Panic Disorder can be diagnosed with or without Agoraphobia. The central feature of Agoraphobia is anxiety about being in places or situations from which escape might be difficult or embarrassing or in which help may not be available in the event of having a Panic Attack or panic-like symptoms. More »

Take a Panic Disorder self-test

If you are interested in sharing the results with your provider, be sure to print out your results to discuss at your next doctor's appointment.

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