Panic disorder

Panic disorder is characterized by repeated panic attacks, fear of being affected by new attacks and a change of behavior when situations that are likely to provoke new attacks are avoided. Panic attacks are painful – but not dangerous.


APPOTEK can help with panic disorder.


Panic attacks are symptoms of panic disorder. When you have a panic attack, you suddenly begin to suffer from strong anxiety that is clearly felt in your body. You may feel like you’re going crazy, losing control or dying. A panic attack reaches its peak within ten minutes, and then subsides.


Since the attacks cannot be predicted, there is added worry about having a new episode, which makes some people isolate themselves and avoid going out. Panic disorders can lead to agoraphobia, which involves anxiety of various situations, such as being in a store or taking a bus.


Common symptoms of a panic attack are:


  • laboured breathing
  • chest pain and palpitations
  • numbness and tingling
  • chill or warmth
  • nausea
  • tremors and twitching
  • dizziness and derealization.


Panic syndrome often begins in the late teens or early twenties. While having a panic attack, young people may feel that they will vomit or faint – or that they have been affected by an illness. The fear of new attacks can be so great that they avoid certain social situations and places.


Children who are shy – and more worried than curious about new situations – may have a greater risk of panic disorder. This also applies to children who are bullied or whose parents are controlling or criticize. If a child has a close relative who is suffering from anxiety and avoids certain situations, the child may take on his or her behavior.


It is not clear what causes panic disorder. Panic attacks can be a partial symptom of several different anxiety disorders and often can occur in depression.
Some substances can trigger panic attacks, such as caffeine and nicotine, as well as low blood sugar.

Prevention and protection

To reduce anxiety, it is good to get professional help. However, you can try to:


  • avoid caffeine
  • increase physical activity
  • make sure you get enough sleep
  • stop smoking
  • train to let the anxiety exist
  • avoid stress.


Contact a psychologist for help with a treatment that is right for you. Exposure is a treatment method that gives good results in anxiety. In some cases, the therapy may be supplemented with antidepressant drugs, based on an individual physician’s assessment.

When to consult a doctor

If you have panic or anxiety problems, seek help. Also, seek help if your child has anxiety.

How APPOTEK can help

  • Consulting
  • Psychological treatment
  • Individual assessment of doctors and prescriptions if necessary

Valeria Chernikova, Neurologist, M.D.