Panic disorder is where you have recurring and regular panic attacks, often for no apparent reason.
Everyone experiences feelings of anxiety and panic at certain times during their lifetime. It’s a natural response to stressful or dangerous situations. However, for someone with panic disorder, feelings of anxiety, stress and panic occur regularly and at any time.
Anxiety is a feeling of unease. It can range from mild to severe and can include feelings of worry and fear.
There are several conditions that can cause severe anxiety including
- phobias – an extreme or irrational fear of an object, place, situation, feeling or animal
- generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) – a long-term condition that causes excessive anxiety and worry relating to a variety of situations
- post-traumatic stress disorder – a condition with psychological and physical symptoms caused by distressing or frightening events
You can read more about these conditions by visiting the Anxiety, PTSD and Phobias pages.
As with many mental health conditions, the exact cause of panic disorder isn’t fully understood. However, it’s thought the condition is probably linked to a combination of physical and psychological factors.