Panic Disorder - Introduction, Statistics and Related Conditions
Panic Disorder - Introduction
Panic disorder is an extremely unpleasant condition that is considered to be a form of anxiety disorder. Individuals suffering from this condition experience panic attacks characterized by a sudden and unexpected surge of overpowering fear. Panic attacks may happen at any time and in any place, without warning and for no apparent reason at all. Depending on the individual, panic attacks can last anywhere from one
minute to several hours. Extreme and overwhelming anxiety may develop between panic attacks, since they come about without warning and are therefore very unpredictable. Sufferers are constantly worried as to when another onset of panic attack will take place.
Statistics of Panic Disorder Prevalence
Panic disorders are actually quite common and an estimated 2.4 million or one in 113 Americans suffers from it. Each year, an estimated 1.7% or 1 in 58 adult Americans aged 18 to 54 experiences a panic attack. Moreover, it is estimated that up to 15% of all Americans are very likely to suffer from a panic attack at some point in their lives.
Panic disorders are more prevalent in women than in men and women have double the chance of suffering from this condition. Moreover, the recurrence rate after treatment in women is two times greater than in men.
Panic disorder may occur at any time in a personís life, but are more prevalent in early adulthood and mid-teens. Nevertheless, people aged between 25 and 44 are at maximum risk of developing panic attacks. Statistically, well-educated, married people with families and a steady job are less likely to develop panic disorders than those with minimal or no education.
Panic Disorder and Related Conditions
Individuals suffering from panic disorder feel great fear because they do not really know what is happening to them. This becomes another reason why it is happening to them. Furthermore, panic attacks can be extremely frightening and dangerous as most people suffering from panic disorders also suffer from other severe conditions, such as depression, alcoholism, substance abuse and phobias. Even when people are not suffering from these conditions, panic attacks can lead to their development if they are not prevented and treated through the mind's natural coping mechanisms.
One of the most common conditions usually associated with panic disorder is phobia. It is often the case that when people experience panic attacks in a particular place or when they experience them in the same place more than once, they tend to develop a phobia of the actual place.
As a result of the phobia, the person may go to great lengths to avoid visiting the place where the panic attacks occurred. Consequently, this poses a great problem for people trying to go about their usual daily activities. Just try to imagine what would happen if a panic attack occurred at a grocery store. How would the person shop for groceries when he or she cannot even return to store in fear of experiencing another panic attack? The result is a condition called agoraphobia, which afflicts around one third of all people suffering from panic disorders.
Many people who suffer from Panic Disorder experience feelings of going crazy, completely out of control or dying.
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