Everyone experiences feelings of panic and or anxiety at certain times and it is an obvious and natural, normal response to unexpected stressful situations or in danger.
Panic attack is a rush of intense fear or a feeling of intense discomfort with mental physical symptoms that reaches a peak within minutes. Panic attack can occur at any time even during sleep, and in any circumstances.
Panic disorder is regular recurrent unexpected panic attacks often for no apparent reason.
Symptoms of panic attack can be physical and psychological.
Physical symptoms during the attack are accelerated heart rate, chest pain, pounding heart beats, nausea, weakness or hot or a cold chill dizziness, shortness of breath, sweating, trembling, stomach pain.
Psychological symptoms are fear of losing control, fear of dying, sudden and repeated attacks of fear, an intense worry about when the next attack happen, a fear of avoidance of places where panic attacks have occurred in the past, often changes of behaviors and routines to avoid panic attacks.
Panic disorder is treated with psychotherapy, medication or both.
Although medications exist to ease anxiety and reduce certain symptoms of panic attack, they are largely ineffective without psychotherapy (Behavioral, Cognitive or psychodynamic)