Panic Disorder Essay

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PANIC DISORDER Panic disorder is characterized by the spontaneous and unexpected occurrence of panic attacks, the frequency of which can vary from several attacks per day to only a few attacks per year. * Panic attacks can occur in other anxiety disorders but occur discernible predictable precipitant in panic disorder. During the episode, patients have the urge to flee or escape and have a sense of impending doom (as though they are dying from a heart attack or suffocation). * Other symptoms may include headache, cold hands, diarrhea, insomnia, fatigue, intrusive thoughts, and ruminations. * Panic disorder is usually qualified with the presence or absence of agoraphobia. Agoraphobia is defined as anxiety toward places or situations in which escape may be difficult or embarrassing. * Following exclusion of somatic disease and other psychiatric disorders, confirmation of the diagnosis of panic disorder with a brief mental status screening examination and initiation of appropriate treatment and referral is time and cost-effective in patients with this condition, who have high rates of medical resource use. Epidemiology: Incidence of panic disorder in the United States-Lifetime prevalence estimates range from 1.5-5% for panic disorder and 3-5.6% for panic attacks Mortality and morbidity associated with panic disorder - Panic disorder often coexists with mood disorders, with mood symptoms potentially following the onset of panic attacks. Lifetime prevalence rates of major depression may be as much as 50-60%. Panic disorder is also associated with a higher risk of sudden death 30% with chest pain and normal findings on angiography. 5-40% with asthma, 15% with headache, 20% with epilepsy, and 10% of patients in primary care

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