Thursday, 14 June 2012

Panic Disorder Article Two

This article follows on from the last about panic and anxiety disorder. This blog talks more about correct diagnosis of the disorder which makes for good reading.  
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Diagnosing panic disorders

Everyone who has panic disorder will experience panic attacks.
However, not everyone who experiences panic attacks is diagnosed with panic disorder.

Panic attacks

Some people have panic attacks in response to specific situations. For example, they may have a phobia of enclosed spaces (claustrophobia) and have a panic attack when faced with an enclosed space.  (Although this is different for different people - some get this on aircraft but not in lifts and vice versa)
Whereas most people with phobias only experience panic attacks when faced with whatever triggers their fear, the panic attacks of people with panic disorder are usually triggered without warning. For people with panic disorder, a panic attack often seems to occur for no obvious reason.
Therefore, a diagnosis of panic disorder will only be made if you experience recurrent and unexpected panic attacks and if these attacks are also followed by at least one month of continuous worry or concern about having further attacks.

Talk to your GP

Your GP will ask you to describe the symptoms that you have been experiencing. They will also ask you how often your symptoms appear, and in what situations they occur. It is very important that you tell your GP about how you have been feeling and how your symptoms have affected you.
It can sometimes be difficult to talk to someone else about your feelings, emotions and personal life. However, you should try not to feel anxious or embarrassed. Your GP needs to gain a good understanding of your symptoms so that they can make the correct diagnosis and recommend the most appropriate treatment for your individual situation.

Physical examination

Your GP may want to carry out a physical examination to look for signs of any physical conditions that could be causing your symptoms. For example, an overactive thyroid gland can sometimes cause similar symptoms to a panic attack. By ruling out any underlying medical conditions, your GP will be able to make the correct diagnosis.

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Take care
Paul & Richard
Virgin Atlantic Flying Without Fear

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