Panic disorder is a mental and behavioral disorder, particularly an anxiety disorder characterized by recurrent unexpected panic attacks. Panic attacks are sudden episodes of intense anxiety, including heart palpitations, sweating, trembling, shortness of breath, numbness or the feeling that something terrible is about to happen. The maximum degree of symptoms occurs within minutes. There may be ongoing worry about further attacks and avoidance of places where attacks have occurred in the past.
The cause of panic disorder is not known. Panic disorder is common in families. Risk factors include smoking, psychological stress and a history of child abuse. Diagnosis includes ruling out other possible causes of anxiety, including other mental disorders, medical conditions such as heart disease or hyperthyroidism and drug use. Screening for the disorder can be done using a questionnaire.
Panic disorder is usually treated with counseling and medication. The type of counseling used is usually cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which is effective in more than half of people. Medications used include antidepressants and sometimes benzodiazepines or beta blockers. After stopping treatment, up to 30% of people experience a relapse.
Panic disorder affects about 2.5% of people at some point in their lives. It usually begins during adolescence or early adulthood, but can affect people of any age. It is less common in children and the elderly. Women are affected more often than men.
BeterKliniek is the clinic for Integrative Medicine that bridges regular and non-regular medicine.
An van Veen (physician) and Michael van Gils (therapist) look for the cause of a condition or disease. That is where the treatment starts otherwise, as people often say, it is 'carrying water to the sea'. We call this cause medicine. Sometimes it is also desirable to treat the symptoms (at the same time). We call this symptom medicine.
Chronic disorders often have their cause in epi- genetics. You can schedule a free informative telephone consultation (phone number 040-7117337 until 1 p.m.) at BeterKliniek to discuss your symptoms so that we can provide you with further advice.