The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) is a nonprofit, grassroots, self-help, support and advocacy organization of consumers, families, and friends of people with severe mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia, major depression, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and anxiety disorders. URL: http://www.nami.org/illness/
Anxiety disorders: Anxiety disorders include panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), generalized anxiety disorder, and phobias (social phobia, agoraphobia, and specific phobias). More than 19 million American adults suffer from an anxiety disorder in a given year, and many people have more than one anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders frequently co-occur with depressive disorders, eating disorders, or substance abuse. Depending on the type of anxiety disorder(s) someone has, effective treatments can include medication(s), psychosocial therapies, or a combination of the two.
Panic Disorder Fact Sheet - Reference guide to panic disorder. It includes specific symptoms and treatments and detailed information about phobias.
What is panic disorder?
A person who experiences four or more panic attacks in a four-week period is said to have panic disorder. Panic disorder may also be indicated if a person experiences fewer than four panic episodes but has recurrent or constant fears of having another panic attack.
Doctors often try to rule out every other possible alternative before diagnosing panic disorder. To be diagnosed as having panic disorder, a person must experience at least four of the following symptoms during a panic attack: sweating; hot or cold flashes; choking or smothering sensations; racing heart; labored breathing; trembling; chest pains; faintness; numbness; nausea; disorientation; or feelings of dying, losing control, or losing one's mind.
Panic attacks can occur in anyone. Chemical or hormonal imbalances, drugs or alcohol, stress, or other situational events can cause panic attacks, which are often mistaken for heart attacks, heart disease, or respiratory problems.
What are phobias?
Phobias are irrational, involuntary, and inappropriate fears of (or responses to) ordinary situations or things. People who have phobias can experience panic attacks when confronted with the situation or object about which they feel phobic. A category of symptoms called phobic disorder falls within the broader field of anxiety disorders
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