Panic disorder occurs when somebody has a lot of panic attacks and it affects their life. Here is more information about the difference between panic attacks and panic disorder, how to help manage symptoms and where to get professional help.
What is a panic attack?
A panic attack is a response to a stressful situation, where you feel like you are losing control.
It can take time to work out whether you are having a panic attack or a heart problem.
If you are in any doubt, and you have pain in your chest, then call triple zero (000) immediately and ask for an ambulance. If calling triple zero (000) does not work on your mobile phone, try calling 112.
How is a panic attack different to panic disorder
In panic disorder, you have a lot of panic attacks, not just a few. You feel in constant fear of having another one.
Treatment for panic disorder
If you suffer from panic disorder, it can be helpful to know two things:
- there is probably no life-threatening danger
- the symptoms will go away
To manage panic disorder, you need strategies to regain some control. Techniques that can help you feel calmer include:
- cognitive behavioural therapy
- relaxation strategies
- breathing exercises
In some instances, medication may help treatment for panic disorder.
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Last reviewed: September 2017