Panic attacks and panic disorder are not the same thing. It's quite possible to have a panic attack without having panic disorder. However, panic attacks are a fundamental part of a panic disorder.
So what's the difference? Well, a relatively high percentage of people will experience the occasional panic attack during their lives. These will be isolated events, usually many years apart, caused by a stressful or frightening experience.
A panic disorder, on the other hand, is where you experience regular panic attacks, often for no apparent reason. This much more regular condition affects between 3-4% of the population.
A panic attack can be related to disorders other than a panic disorder. Indeed, a panic attack is more likely to be caused by phobias, anxiety or bipolar rather than an actual panic disorder.
Panic disorder is more common amongst women than men, and usually develops in people in their late teens or early twenties. In most cases, therapy is very successful in addressing the problem. However, medication may be needed in some cases.
if you are concerned about panic disorder, don't hesitate in making an appointment with your local doctor. A little support is sometimes all you need to get to grips with the problem.
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