Panic Disorder

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Overwhelming fright, fear or terror, called panic, may happen to a person a few times in his or her life. Dr. Edward Hill takes a look at panic disorder in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

During a panic attack, you may feel like you are having a heart attack or that you are dying. Usually, panic is short-lived and is often related to a frightening event that happens to you.

If panic occurs unrelated to situations, happens frequently, and is followed by at least 30 days of worry about another panic attack, this is termed panic disorder. Not every person who has a panic attack will develop panic disorder.

There is evidence that panic disorder is sometimes genetic. Along with the other types of anxiety disorders, panic disorder is fairly common, affecting more than 40 million adults in the United States alone. Worldwide, approximately 20 percent of persons who receive primary health care have anxiety disorders or depression.

Treatment for panic disorder usually has several approaches, combining some type of therapy with medication to help reduce the feelings and symptoms of anxiety.

Medications may include one or more types of anti-anxiety medicines, many of which are also used to treat depression and other mental illnesses.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.