• Mental and behavioural disorders account for 19% of the global burden of disease - WHO
    • It is estimated that nearly 450 million people suffer from a mental or behavioural disorder in the world - WHO
    • Nearly 10% of total population suffers from these disorders - WHO
    • Mental health is a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.
    • Nearly 1% of the Indian population suffer from serious mental & behavioural disorders and 10% from moderate disorders, requiring psychiatric help.
    • By 2020 mental depression will be largest cause of disabilty worldwide and by 2025 it may overtake heart diseases as the biggest health concern - WHO
    • About half of mental disorders begin before the age of 14 - WHO
    • Around 20% of the world's children and adolescents are estimated to have mental disorders or problems - WHO

Panic Disorder

Panic disorder is a type of anxiety disorder in which one feels repeated attacks of intense fear that something bad will occur unexpectedly. A panic attack may be mistaken for a heart attack. It is a treatable medical disorder.

Depression is caused by a combination of factors

  • Person’s Genes
  • Biochemical Imbalance
  • Personal experience
  • Psychological factors

A panic attack begins suddenly, and most often peaks within 10 - 20 minutes.

  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Dizziness or faintness
  • Fear of dying
  • Feeling of choking
  • Nausea or upset stomach
  • Numbness or tingling in the hands, feet, or face
  • Palpitations, fast heart rate, or pounding heart
  • Sweating, chills, or hot flashes
  • Trembling or shaking

The key symptom of panic disorder is the persistent fear of having future panic attacks. If one suffers from repeated (four or more) panic attacks, and especially if one  has had a panic attack and is in continued fear of having another, these are signs that one should consider taking help from a mental health professional.

Panic disorder affects all age groups including children, adolescents, adults and the elderly. Panic disorder affects people irrespective of cultures, races and social classes. Rather with early treatment, the possibility of excellent recovery and subsequently patient leading a normal life is very high.

The treatment options for panic disorder include

  • Medicine
  • Counseling and Psychosocial management.
  • Family education, support and intervention.

Treatment adherence means

  • Strictly following the doctor’s advice
  • Going to the doctor when called for follow up visits.
  • Taking the right medication regularly without missing the single dose
  • Making life style modifications to control the illness as per doctor's recommendations.

Chances of having Panic disorder are somewhat higher if one has a biological relative with a Panic disorder. However multiple factors have been implicated in the causation of the illness.

  • By being encouraging and supportive.
  • By helping the patient find appropriate & effective treatment, encourage him/her to continue taking medications and carrying on regular follow up visits as advised.
  • Educate yourself as much as possible about the illness, its treatment and how best to deal with it.
  • Guard yourself against excessive stress while caring for your loved one.