My Psych Health

Panic Disorder

Panic Disorder

Panic Disorder services offered in Alma, Fayetteville and Bentonville, AR

If you have frequent panic attacks that diminish your quality of life, see an expert at My Psych Health, based in Alma, Fayetteville, and Bentonville, Arkansas, serving patients of all ages virtually. The skilled psychiatry team offers treatments for panic disorder to reduce crippling symptoms and rediscover superior mental health. Call to learn more, or schedule a telehealth appointment online today.

What is panic disorder?

Panic disorder is a condition in which you have panic attacks, physical reactions during everyday situations that feel frightening and as if you’re losing control or having a heart attack (though you’re not). It’s common to experience several panic attacks throughout your lifetime, but recurrent panic attacks can indicate panic disorder.

What are the symptoms of panic disorder?

Panic attacks may appear as:

  • Fear of death
  • Loss of control
  • Pounding, rapid heart rate
  • Sense of doom or danger
  • Trembling
  • Sweating
  • Shaking
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue 
  • Throat tightness
  • Hot flashes
  • Chills
  • Nausea
  • Chest pain
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Feeling faint
  • Numbness
  • Tingling 
  • Unreality
  • Detachment

Panic attacks can happen at any time without warning. Symptoms often peak within minutes and cause you to feel tired or worn down.

If you have panic disorder, you may have an intense fear of additional panic attacks. You might avoid certain situations because of such fears.

When left untreated, panic disorder can lead to problems at work or school, financial hardship, depression, and even substance use disorder. 

What are the risk factors for panic disorder?

Anyone can develop panic disorder, but common risk factors include:

  • Major stress
  • Family or personal history of panic disorder
  • Certain personality traits
  • Changes in brain functioning
  • Death or serious illness of a loved one
  • Extreme life changes
  • Physical or sexual assault
  • Past trauma
  • Excessive caffeine intake
  • Divorce
  • Addition to your family
  • History of childhood abuse or neglect

Even without known risk factors, panic attacks may still occur. Minimizing stress can diminish your chance of developing panic disorder.

How is panic disorder diagnosed?

Your My Psych Health specialist diagnoses panic disorder after discussing your medical history, symptoms, lifestyle, and current medications. During a virtual psychiatric evaluation, they inquire about your thoughts, moods, emotions, and typical behaviors before diagnosing possible mental health challenges.

How is panic disorder treated?

To treat panic disorder, the My Psych Health team offers medication management, counseling, and psychotherapy (talk therapy). They can prescribe medicine that reduces generalized anxiety, stress, depression, and other coexisting conditions. 

You might speak with a therapist weekly or as needed via your phone or tablet from the comfort of your home.

It’s also important to minimize stress as much as you can, get plenty of sleep, exercise regularly, and have a strong social support network in place.

Call the My Psych Health office or schedule an appointment online today to find relief from panic disorder.