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Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Skip to: What Causes Panic Disorders? - Symptoms - Treatment

Everyone feels a sense of panic sometimes, but when this feeling becomes particularly intense, occurs frequently or is accompanied by physical symptoms - this could be a sign of a panic disorder.

If you’re experiencing constant feelings of panic or have had panic attacks, it’s recommended that you speak to a GP as soon as possible.

Our doctors can discuss your symptoms, discern whether or not you’ve got a panic disorder and prescribe appropriate treatment to help you tackle the problem.

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Panicked girl
Panic due to an alarming situation

What Causes Panic Disorders?

Feelings of panic are a natural response to an alarming situation, but for those with panic disorders, these run out of control.

It’s common for people with panic disorders to feel stressed, anxious and panicky frequently and they may also experience panic attacks - where these feelings become so strong, they produce physical symptoms that incapacitate the sufferer.

The fear of having a panic attack can add to these worries, leading to other problems - like worrying about going out in public in case another attack occurs.

Panic disorders are highly common, affecting hundreds of thousands of people in the UK.

While the exact causes of panic disorders aren’t yet known, it’s clear that their onset is brought about by a combination of psychological and physical issues.

Panic disorders can occur in isolation, or take place because of other issues - such as phobias, a traumatic life event or having a pre-existing anxiety disorder.

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Panic Disorders: Symptoms

The following physical and psychological symptoms are common with panic disorders: 

Physical Symptoms:

  • Hyperventilation
  • Palpitations
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Uncontrollable tremblings
  • Tight throat or choking feeling
  • Perspiration
  • Nausea
  • Feeling light-headed, or faint
  • Numbness
  • Tingling sensations around the body
  • Hot or cold flashes

Psychological Symptoms: 

  • Fear of dying
  • Fear of losing control of yourself and things around you
  • Fear of going crazy
  • Feeling unreal
  • A sense of detachment from world
Light-headed because of panic

Treatment for panic disorders or attacks

Panic disorders are usually treated with either psychological therapy, medication or a combination of both.

In the first instance, it’s recommended you speak to a GP about your condition. Our doctors will talk through your symptoms, discuss potential treatment options and help you decide on the best course of action.

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