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What’s Panic Disorder? - Renew Ketamine & Wellness Center

What’s Panic Disorder?

Have you ever experienced a sudden surge of intense fear or anxiety that seemingly comes out of nowhere? If so, you may be familiar with panic attacks, a hallmark symptom of panic disorder. Panic disorder is a serious and often debilitating anxiety disorder that affects an estimated 6 million U.S. adults every year, leading to severe impairment and reduced quality of life.

Understanding Panic Disorder

Panic disorder is a type of anxiety disorder characterized by recurring, unexpected panic attacks. These attacks are intense episodes of fear or overwhelming anxiety that reach their peak within minutes and are accompanied by a wide range of physical and psychological symptoms.

Panic attacks can occur without any apparent trigger or in response to specific situations or stimuli. People with panic disorder often develop a debilitating fear of experiencing another panic attack, which can trigger future attacks or result in avoidance behaviors – causing significant limitations in daily functioning.

Symptoms Of Panic Disorder

The hallmark of panic disorder is the occurrence of recurrent panic attacks. As mentioned, a panic attack is a sudden surge of intense fear, accompanied by physical symptoms such as heart palpitations, sweating, trembling, shortness of breath, dizziness, nausea, chest pain, muscle tension, and a feeling of impending doom.

A panic attack can also affect cognition and perception of reality. Individuals may experience racing thoughts, difficulty concentrating, a sense of unreality or detachment from oneself or their surroundings, or feel like they are losing control, going crazy, having a heart attack, or dying.

In addition to panic attacks, people with panic disorder may also experience:

  • A pervasive fear about having another panic attack
  • Fear of losing control or going crazy during an attack
  • Avoidance of situations or places associated with past panic attacks
  • Physical symptoms like headaches, stomachaches, or muscle tension

Causes & Risk Factors

Although the exact cause of panic disorder remains unclear, researchers have identified several factors that may contribute to its development. These include:

Biological factors: Research suggests that panic disorder may have a genetic component, meaning it can run in families. Neurotransmitter imbalances, particularly involving serotonin, noradrenaline, and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), are also believed to play a role in the development of panic disorder.

Environmental influences: Certain life events, such as experiencing a traumatic event or significant life stressors, can trigger the onset of panic disorder.

Psychological factors: Additionally, a family history of mental illness, and certain personality traits, such as being prone to anxiety or sensitivity to stress, can increase the risk of developing panic disorder.

Treatment Options For Panic Disorder

The good news is that panic disorder is highly treatable. A combination of psychotherapy, medication, and lifestyle modifications can help individuals regain control over their lives.


Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and exposure therapy are the two most commonly used psychotherapy techniques to treat panic disorder. CBT helps individuals identify and challenge unhelpful thought patterns and beliefs related to panic disorder, while exposure therapy works by gradually desensitizing an individual to panic-provoking situations through safe and controlled exposure.


In some instances, healthcare professionals may prescribe medication to manage symptoms of panic disorder and reduce their interference with daily life. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), a class of antidepressants, are the most commonly prescribed medications for panic disorder.

Lifestyle Changes

Additionally, individuals can take certain measures to manage anxiety and reduce their risk of panic attacks. Some lifestyle modifications that may prove helpful include getting adequate sleep, exercising regularly, avoiding caffeine and alcohol, and effective stress management.

Final Thoughts

Panic disorder can significantly impact an individual’s quality of life, but it doesn’t have to be a lifelong struggle. There are proven treatment options that can help effectively manage symptoms and improve overall quality of life.

But if you or someone you know is battling panic disorder and traditional treatment options have fallen short, consider exploring personalized ketamine treatments at Renew Ketamine & Wellness Center. Ketamine infusion therapy is a novel treatment that has shown remarkable success in alleviating symptoms of a range of treatment-resistant mental health illnesses, including panic disorder.

Contact us today for a free consultation and learn how our innovative ketamine treatments are paving the way for individuals to regain control over their mental health and well-being!

If you are interested in learning more about panic disorder treatment in Naperville, Illinois (IL), contact Renew Ketamine & Wellness Center and request your consultation today.

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