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- 5 Ways to Bully-Proof Your Kid
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- Childhood Stress
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- About Teen Suicide
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- Developing Your Child's Self-Esteem
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- Cutting Special Needs Factsheet
- Cough and Cold Medicine Abuse
- Helping Teens Who Cut
- Could ADHD Be Hereditary?
- Social Phobia Special Needs Factsheet
- Teaching Your Child Self-Control
- How Can I Help My Child Overcome Shyness?
- My Child Is Stealing
- Disciplining Your Toddler
- Eating Disorders
- Disciplining Your Child
- Drugs: What Parents Need to Know
- Marijuana: What Parents Need to Know
- Does Ritalin Have Side Effects?
- Connecting With Your Preteen
- Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Helping Kids Cope With Cliques
- Oppositional Defiant Disorder Special Needs Factsheet
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Special Needs Factsheet
- Separation Anxiety
- Individualized Education Programs (IEPs)
- ADHD Special Needs Factsheet
- Anxiety Disorders Special Needs Factsheet
- Anxiety, Fears, and Phobias
- Kids and Alcohol
- Autism Special Needs Factsheet
- A to Z: Panic Disorder
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
- What Is ADHD?
- Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Special Needs Factsheet
Trusted External Resources
A to Z: Panic Disorder
A to Z: Panic Disorder
Panic disorder is an anxiety disorder in which a person experiences recurrent panic attacks. A panic attack is a feeling of intense fear when there is no real threat or danger.
More to Know
Panic disorder is usually diagnosed between the ages of 18 and 24. More women than men have the condition and it can run in families.
Along with unexplained and paralyzing fear, a person with panic disorder may experience a racing heartbeat, shortness of breath, chest pains, dizziness, hot flashes, and chills. Other symptoms may include shaking, trembling, sweating, and tingling in the fingers or toes. Some people may feel like they're losing control, having a heart attack, or dying. Symptoms usually last for 10-20 minutes but can last up to an hour or more.
Attacks can occur without a specific trigger or warning. For this reason, many people with panic disorder have difficulty participating in everyday routines like going to work or school for fear of having an attack in public.
Keep in Mind
Left untreated panic disorder can be a debilitating illness that leads to depression, alcohol and drug abuse, and many other problems. With medication and behavioral therapy, however, panic disorders can be successfully managed and most people suffering from the disorder can go on to live normal lives.
All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.
Date reviewed: September 26, 2016