What You Need to Know About Panic Disorder

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Guest Post

A Panic Disorder is a form of Anxiety in which the patient experiences overwhelming feelings of terror and impending doom even though there is no actual danger.  The feelings may be overwhelming and result in panic attacks with symptoms like breathing difficulty, profuse sweating, dizziness, stomach pain, and accelerated heart rate.  These symptoms are so extreme that some sufferers use narcotics like alcohol to ease the symptoms.

Panic attack disorderSince narcotics alter the brain’s chemicals, it can lead them to addiction.  Studies concluded that 20 percent of participants with Panic Disorder had a lifetime history of alcohol abuse. The prevalence of alcohol addiction among people who suffer from mental illness has prompted rehab centers to screen patients for Dual Diagnosis at intake.

Panic Disorder and Addiction

Panic Disorders send sufferers on wild, emotional roller coaster rides with irrational fears controlling their behavior.  Panic attacks are so traumatizing and painful that even the fear of an impending panic attack is overwhelming and hard to deal with.  Living in constant fear makes it difficult to operate in a relaxed and competent capacity in daily life. The symptoms of a panic attack resemble those associated with a heart attack. Sufferers experience shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness, and other symptoms often associated with cardiac arrest.

If Panic Disorder remains untreated, sufferers will resort to any means necessary to relieve the pain and apprehension they are going through. Many alcohol rehab centers have found growing numbers of patients began their alcohol dependency while attempting to make the symptoms of their mental disorder easier to live with.  Using alcohol to self-medicate a mental illness is so common, more treatment facilities like alcohol rehab centers in Texas are using a Dual-Diagnosis treatment model in which mental disorder and the addiction are treated simultaneously.

Managing your Panic Disorder

If you have a panic disorder, it’s important that you learn to manage the symptoms.  The first step in learning to do so is to seek mental health treatment.  Your physician will educate you on Panic Disorder and develop a treatment plan to help you find better ways of coping with the condition.  Learning to assess and critically analyze irrational thoughts is helpful for most sufferers and a giant step towards getting the symptom under control and learning to manage the disorder. Along with learning to recognize irrational thoughts is the need to learn to confront and face fear head-on.


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One of the most effective treatments for Panic Disorders is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), This therapy helps the patient to fully examine the faulty thinking that contributes to the high levels of anxiety of this disorder and learn the triggers that increase their anxiety, The unhealthy thoughts, fixations, and behaviors which are contributing to the problem are challenged. Often, the anticipation of the impending disaster is one of the worst aspects of this disorder.  With panic disorder, irrational thoughts can act as a catalyst to bring on what the patient fears most, a panic attack.

Learning to cope with the challenging symptoms of Panic Disorder empowers the sufferer and enables them to make rational decisions when facing the possibility of an attack. This is a healthy alternative to the growing problem of alcohol dependency being witnessed at alcohol rehab centers.  Instead of using alcohol as a temporary balm to their ongoing stress and anxiety, mental health treatment provides them with practical, tested methods to cope with the condition without risk of adding addiction to their problems.


Sharon Torres is a freelance writer who is chronicling her experiences through this thing called life. She believes that if you always move forward in life then there is no need to look back. Her favorite writer is Phillip K. Dick. Sharon ‘s blog: http://sharontorreswriter.blogspot.com/

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