Finding Balance for Panic Disorder

Panic disorder is a disabling mental condition in which a person has repeated, unexpected panic attacks and constantly worries about having another. Panic disorder, which usually starts in late adolescence or early adulthood and may last a lifetime, can interfere with work and social relationships if it is not treated.

Panic attacks have frightening but not life-threatening symptoms that often include the following symptoms:

  • Pounding heart
  • Sweating
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sense of choking
  • Nausea or belly pain
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Feeling unreal or disconnected from oneself
  • Fear of losing control
  • Fear of "going crazy" or dying
  • Numbness
  • Chills or hot flashes
  • Chest pain and other symptoms that mimic a heart attack

Often a person having a panic attack feels that he or she is losing control or dying. An attack starts suddenly and may last from 5 to 20 minutes. You feel most anxious about 10 minutes into the attack.

Panic disorder can be treated with counseling and medicines to help minimize or eliminate panic attacks and decrease the anxiety that accompanies the fear of future attacks. With help and treatment from the professionals within the RWJBarnabas Health Behavioral Health Network facilities across New Jersey, patients can find a new balance when living with panic disorder.

Early diagnosis and treatment of panic attacks can prevent other conditions linked with panic disorder, such as depression or substance abuse.

Our Access Center provides 24/7 support for anyone who needs emergency support. Contact us today at 1-800-300-0628.