Panic Disorder is a condition whereby the sufferer experiences extreme anxiety and has repeated panic attacks. Everyone at some point in their lives when they are stressed will feel anxious and can experience panicky feelings, however for those with Panic Disorder it is a regular occurrence.
Many who suffer from this disorder can go on to develop Agoraphobia. This is due to their anxiety and fear of having a panic attack whilst out in public, they prefer to stay at home to avoid the possibility of this happening. A panic attack is when, sometimes for no particular reason, you have a severe attack of anxiety. This can then cause you to experience many real physical symptoms which can include shortness of breath, palpitations, sweating, trembling and a feeling of faintness. It can be an extremely frightening experience, especially as the symptoms do resemble those of an actual heart attack.
It is not really understood what causes this disorder, but it is thought it is a combination of both physical and psychological factors.
Panic Disorder is a debilitating condition and can affect your day to day life dramatically. It can also lead to other disorders, as well as alcohol and substance abuse.