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It can strike without warning – a sudden and intense rush of terror with powerful symptoms like a racing heart, chest pain, trouble breathing, stomach upset, dizziness and feeling out of control or unsafe. You’re having a panic attack – and if it’s your first, you may even mistake it for a heart attack. Some people have just one or two panic attacks. But if you have repeated attacks, worry about them frequently and go out of your way to avoid them, you could have panic disorder – a type of anxiety disorder.
While the exact causes of panic disorder are unknown, several risk factors may play a role in panic disorder.
People who have panic attacks don’t necessarily have panic disorder. Symptoms of a panic disorder include frequent, unexpected panic attacks along with four or more of the following signs:
If you’ve had at least two panic attacks, discuss them with your Mercy doctor or a Mercy behavioral health provider.
Panic attacks are more common than panic disorder. Approximately 1 in 10 American adults have them every year, and about 1 in 3 will have one in their lifetime. Panic disorder is more unusual. Only 3% of adults have this condition, and it affects more women than men.
If you're experiencing signs of panic disorder, it can be overwhelming. Mercy's behavioral health experts are here to help.
Learn about panic disorder diagnostic & treatment options.
At Mercy, we offer comprehensive testing services to diagnose conditions and injuries, including:
At Mercy, we offer compassionate care for a variety of treatment services, including: