What’s the difference between a panic attack and panic disorder? What are the panic disorder symptoms? And does having one panic attack mean I have panic disorder? Is there a panic disorder cure?
These are really common questions. Probably because “Panic Disorder” sounds like such a scary term.
It’s not. Or at least it shouldn’t be scary. Having panic disorder just means that you have multiple panic attacks on a regular basis. That’s not scary at all, right?
So does having one panic attack mean I have panic disorder?
No. It takes multiple attacks over a period of time.
That means that panic disorder symptoms are mostly the same as the symptoms of a panic attack. But there is one big difference.
People with panic disorder often have what are called “anticipatory attacks.” That means that they have a panic attack because they are so afraid and stressed out about having another panic attack. The fear of suffering another attack actually causes another attack.
Panic disorder symptoms create a vicious cycle of panic attacks. Each attack just leads to more anxiety, which lead to more attacks, which lead to more anxiety . . . and on and on. Joe Barry based his entire Panic Away book on breaking this cycle.
Is there a difference between a panic attack and panic disorder?
Not a big difference, no. Panic disorder just means you suffer from regular panic attacks.
I know a lot of people hear the term “Panic Disorder” and they immediately think there must be something terribly wrong with them. But I don’t see that as being the case.
Since panic disorder symptoms are just a cycle of panic attacks, all we need to do is break the cycle. If you can break the cycle, you can stop the habit. You can make a habit out of not having panic attacks.
That’s a lot harder than it sounds, I know, but it can be done. There are a lot of techniques out there designed specifically to stop panic disorder symptoms.
If you’d like to know more about panic disorder treatment, you can read my article detailing some of the most popular methods. I don’t go into exhaustive detail, but I can tell you what has worked for me and what was a waste of time.
I can tell you this: panic disorder symptoms are treatable without medication for most people. For extreme cases I recommend talking to your doctor before you do anything else. If left untreated, severe panic disorder can lead to depression.
Panic disorder symptoms aren’t as scary as they seem. And once you remember that the cycle is just a habit like any other, you can start taking control of your panic attacks and putting a stop to them.
Are you still suffering from panic disorder when you don’t have to?
If your answer to the above question is yes, I strongly recommend that you try Panic Away.