Clinical diagnosis of panic disorder

A. Panic disorder is characterized by unexpected panic attacks. A panic attack is defined as a discrete episode of intense symptoms that peak within 10 minutes and primarily involve sympathetic nervous system manifestations.

B. A diagnosis of panic disorder is made if the patient has experienced recurrent, unexpected panic attacks and shows at least one of the following characteristics: (1) persistent concern about having another attack (anticipatory anxiety); (2) worry about the implications of an attack or its consequences (eg, suffering a catastrophic medical or mental consequence), or (3) a significant change in behavior related to the attacks.

C. Agoraphobia usually accompanies panic disorder. Agoraphobia refers to avoidance behavior motivated by fear of having another panic attack. It may consist of avoidance of activities that patients fear could provoke an attack, situations where escape may not be readily available, or activities during which patients are not accompanied by a person whom they believe could help in case of an attack.

Anxiety and Depression 101

Anxiety and Depression 101

Everything you ever wanted to know about. We have been discussing depression and anxiety and how different information that is out on the market only seems to target one particular cure for these two common conditions that seem to walk hand in hand.

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