Panic Disorder

Adult Psychiatrists located in Washington, DC

Panic Disorder

Panic Disorder services offered in Washington, DC

A panic disorder is a severe anxiety mental health condition that involves unexpected and repeated panic attacks. At the Weekend Clinic, under the direction of Peter Nguyen, DO, in Washington, DC, you get a diagnosis and help to manage your panic disorder so your attacks are less frequent and severe. Call today to set up a telepsychiatry appointment, or use the online tool to schedule. 

What is a panic disorder?

A panic disorder is an anxiety condition in which patients experience intense fear and physical panic attacks. Panic attacks can feel like you’re having a heart attack.

Panic attacks can happen out of nowhere with no known fear or trigger. An estimated 4.7% of American adults have experienced a panic disorder sometime in their lives. Women are more likely to suffer panic disorders compared to men. 

What are the symptoms of a panic disorder?

Anxiety often precedes a panic attack. You experience feelings of unease, worry, and fear. You start to live in fear and avoid certain places that trigger anxiety. This isolates you from work, friends, and family. 

Panic attacks are another symptom of a panic disorder. You recognize a panic attack as causing: 

  • Heart palpitations
  • Faintness and dizziness
  • Hot flashes
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating 
  • Nausea
  • Chills
  • Shaky limbs and trembling
  • Dry mouth
  • Ringing in your ears

Panic attacks last as short as five minutes and as long as an hour. The frequency of attacks depends on the severity of your condition. People can have them a few times a month, while others may have them several times a week.

The attacks aren’t physically dangerous to your body, but they are frightening. They come out of nowhere and disable you. 

What’s the treatment for a panic disorder?

The treatment for a panic disorder offered at the Weekend Clinic aims to reduce the number of panic attacks you have and decrease their severity. The practice also hopes to ease overall anxiety associated with a panic disorder.

Individual therapy is the primary treatment for panic disorders. Your therapist talks to you during an online visit to get at what you think about while having a panic attack and how you react. They can help you carve out new ways of thinking and behaving that help with panic attacks. 

Your therapist may combine individual therapy with medications to ease anxiety or an antidepressant to change levels of neurotransmitters in your brain. Medications help ease the intensity and frequency of panic attacks so you can work on behaviors and thought processes better.

Call the Weekend Clinic or use the online tool to book an appointment if you struggle with a panic disorder.