Panic disorder is the name given to recurrent panic attacks that are not consistently associated with a particular situation or object (ICD-10 – http://www.who.int/classifications/icd/en/GRNBOOK.pdf). Each panic attack tends to start without any or much warning, and usually causes significant fear or discomfort. Symptoms include:
- Pounding heart
- Trembling or shaking
- Dry mouth
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest pain
- A feeling of losing control, going mad, fainting or dying.
- Feeling hot/cold
- Numbness or tingling sensations
Panic attacks can last several minutes and it may take some time before the sufferer’s anxiety has subsided to pre-attack levels. They can often feel particularly frightening because of their unpredictable nature and the severity of the anxiety symptoms and fears often experienced.