Panic Disorder Phobias Limit Daily Activities

Panic disorder is the label used to describe someone, who has suffered repeated panic attacks.


Panic attacks, occurring at regular intervals without knowledge of the trigger mechanism, can debilitate a person in their everyday lives.

Panic attacks appear without warning and can last from several minutes to several hours. The sufferer is subjected to paralyzing pain, thoughts of imminent death, depersonalization (withdrawal from reality), rapid heart beats, and other alarming symptoms. Oftentimes, a first-time sufferer will end up in the emergency room, believing they have suffered a heart attack.

Understanding all this, it's not surprising that sufferers often develop a phobia. They believe that the panic attack is associated with the place at which it occurred. They begin to experience a side effect known as situational avoidance, restricting their ability to lead a normal life. In extreme cases, the sufferer develops agoraphobia, a fear of going outside. They become recluses, afraid of venturing outside their homes, for fear of an attack.

Other side effects, which interfere with normal daily functioning, are a susceptibility to drugs and alcohol, suicide, and chronic emergency room stays. Even if a sufferer manages to leave their home, it is only for short periods to manage the risk of having an attack. Curtailment of daily activities can have a financial effect, causing many sufferers to become fired or laid off from their jobs. This leads to economic hardship and standing in line at the welfare office, or worse, needing financial support from immediate family.

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