Left untreated, panic attacks and panic disorder can affect almost every area of your life. You may be so afraid of having more panic attacks that you live in a constant state of fear, ruining your quality of life.
Complications that panic attacks may cause or be linked to include:
- Development of specific phobias, such as fear of driving or leaving your home
- Frequent medical care for health concerns and other medical conditions
- Avoidance of social situations
- Problems at work or school
- Depression, anxiety disorder and other psychiatric disorders
- Increased risk of suicide or suicidal thoughts
- Alcohol or other substance misuse
- Financial problems
For some people, panic disorder may include agoraphobia — avoiding places or situations that cause you anxiety because you fear not being able to escape or get help if you have a panic attack. Or you may become reliant on others to be with you in order to leave your home.
May 19, 2015
- Panic disorder. In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-5. 5th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2013. http://www.psychiatryonline.org. Accessed April 20, 2015.
- Ciechanowski P. Panic disorder: Epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical manifestations, course, assessment, and diagnosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 21, 2015.
- Panic disorder: When fear overwhelms. National Institute of Mental Health. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/panic-disorder-when-fear-overwhelms/index.shtml. Accessed April 20, 2015.
- Answers to your questions about panic disorder. American Psychological Association. http://www.apa.org/topics/anxiety/panic-disorder.aspx. Accessed April 20, 2015.
- Craske M. Psychotherapy for panic disorder. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 21, 2015.
- Inositol. National Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://naturaldatabase.com. Accessed April 20, 2015.
- Gaudlitz K, et al. Aerobic exercise training facilitates the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy in panic disorder. Depression and Anxiety. 2015;32:221.
- Vorkapic CF, et al. Reducing the symptomatology of panic disorder: The effects of a yoga program alone and in combination with cognitive-behavioral therapy. Frontiers in Psychiatry. 2014;5:1.
- Roy-Byrne PP. Pharmacotherapy for panic disorder. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 21, 2015.
- Clonazepam, alprazolam, venlafaxine hydrochloride, fluoxetine hydrochloride, paroxetine mesylate, paroxetine hydrochloride, sertraline hydrochloride. Micromedex 2.0 Healthcare Series. http://www.micromedexsolutions.com. Accessed April 22, 2015.
- Sawchuk CA (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. May 8, 2015.
- Hall-Flavin DK (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. May 11, 2015.