Panic disorder (BSL)

Introduction to panic disorder

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.

Symptom of panic disorder

The symptoms of a panic attack can be very frightening and distressing.

Symptoms tend to occur suddenly, without warning and often for no apparent reason.

Causes of panic disorder

As with many mental health conditions, the exact cause of panic disorder isn’t fully understood.

It’s thought that panic disorder is probably caused by a combination of physical and psychological factors. Some of these factors are outlined below.

Diagnosis of panic disorder

Everyone who has panic disorder will experience panic attacks.

However, not everyone who has panic attacks is diagnosed with panic disorder.

Treatment of panic disorder

The main aim in treating panic disorder is to reduce the number of panic attacks and ease the severity of symptoms.

Psychological therapy and medication are the two main types of treatment for panic disorder.

Panic disorder: things you can do to help yourself

There are several self-help techniques you can use to help treat the symptoms of panic disorder yourself.

Complications of panic disorder

Panic disorder is a treatable condition, but to make a full recovery it’s very important you seek medical help as soon as possible.

This is because treatment for panic disorder is much more effective if it’s given at an early stage.

Contact us in BSL

Our health information team can help you with any questions about panic disorders. You can speak to them using BSL through the Contact Scotland BSL service.

Find out how to use the Contact Scotland BSL service

Last updated:
06 April 2023

Also on NHS inform