About 20% of adults will experience at least one panic attack at some time in their lives. Panic disorder tends to have a sudden onset, most frequently during late 20s and early 30s with most patients vividly remembering their first episodes. These episodes usually last no more than a few minutes, but in unusual instances, can return in waves for a period of up to two hours.
The following symptoms are commonly used to diagnose panic disorder:
People diagnosed with panic disorder often experience:
Sufferers and their families often mistake the physical symptoms of panic attack as a medical condition (e.g. heart problems or a severe asthmatic attack), and therefore present themselves to the Accident & Emergency Department. The physical and laboratory examinations will not show anything physically wrong with the person.
Early assessment and treatment are essential. Psychotherapy is effective in addressing panic disorder and where appropriate antidepressants may be prescribed. People with panic disorder may need treatment for other emotional problems that may arise because of the disorder. These include clinical depression or alcohol/tranquiliser abuse which can interfere with recovery.
People in recovery will also benefit from self-help or support groups, and community resources such as available helplines. There are also many websites with useful information for people to find out more about this condition. Better awareness of this condition and professional help will enable sufferers to better deal with this illness. A healthy lifestyle including positive thinking, stress management and proper diet, is also essential for good mental health.
To make an appointment to see a doctor, please call 6389 2200.
10 Buangkok ViewSingapore 539747