Have you ever experienced an event or even heard a sudden sound that made you scared? That started your heart beating fast? Sometimes certain life issues, movies that we watch, scary books or even stories can cause us to feel panic. Stressful situations can cause us to have fear and anxiety. Experiencing some fear is normal, but when the fear becomes out of control and occurs without any reason, it could be classified as Panic disorder.

Panic disorder is not only extremely uncomfortable to live with but it often starts to affect day to day living.

However, it is worth knowing that this panic disorder can be helped and it doesn’t have to control your life!


Panic disorder is characterised by frequent panic attacks that leave the sufferer with extreme anxiety and fear, not only from the previous panic attack, but of having another attack. It can manifest as sweating and a racing heart and often times affects the behaviour and day to day activities of the person experiencing panic attacks. This often leads to an inability to function to his or her full capacity.

Panic disorder can also affect one's social life. While suffering from panic disorder, the loss of self-confidence is not uncommon.

The attacks experienced by a person suffering from panic disorder can vary in duration (anywhere from under 5 minutes to longer than 10 minutes).

Symptoms of Panic disorder

A major sign of panic disorder is the fear associated to having panic attacks in the future. This fear can cause avoidance of certain places or events that have triggered panic attacks in the past. Other symptoms related to panic disorder include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Series of intense anxiety, shortness of breath and sweating that last for about ten minutes at a time.
  • Trembling
  • Stomach ache
  • Choking sensation
  • Dizziness
  • Racing heart
  • Heart attack
  • Numbness in hands
  • Repeated attacks accompanied by anxiety.

Possible causes of Panic disorder

The real cause of panic disorder is not fully established; scientist suggest that a number of factors could contribute to panic disorder .

Genetic factors: Panic disorder is one of the disorders that could be transferred from parent to children. It can run in families.

Environmental factors: Stressful events in and around one’s environment could also cause panic disorder.

Stress: Stressful events like the loss of a loved one can lead to panic attacks, which if not properly monitored can lead to panic disorder.

Abnormal brain structure: If the part of the brain responsible for the “fight or flight” response is not functioning properly, it could cause panic disorder.

Drug abuse and alcoholism: Those struggling with addiction have a higher rate of developing panic disorder.

Diagnosis of Panic Disorder

People with panic disorder are often diagnosed because many symptoms of the disorder are similar to what is recognized as the symptoms of a heart attack. This means that many times those suffering from panic attack symptoms require emergency treatment. Doctors often carry out a series of tests to rule out the possibility of other diseases or conditions before confirming that what the person is suffering from is panic disorder.

Researchers have found that children and women are more susceptible to developing panic disorder than the men.



For many, there can be other options besides prescription medication to aid life with panic disorder. The use of natural and nutritional supplements can not only help control the symptoms of panic disorder, but can also nourish the body, keeping it in a balanced and optimal state.

B Vitamins:

Both a complex of B Vitamins and singular B Vitamins can be beneficial for those experiencing panic disorder. In many cases, B Vitamins in general help to ease anxiety and keep stress under control, which can both be triggers of panic attacks.

Vitamin B1 is important for balancing blood sugar, which helps to stabilize general feelings of anxiety.

Vitamin B3 is necessary for the synthesis of serotonin in the brain, which is a major component in the reduction of anxiety symptoms.

Vitamin B5 helps to support the body’s adrenal system. The adrenals play a huge role in the body’s ability to handle stress and anxiety.

If you’re looking for a herbal alternative for panic disorder, the use of Ashwagandha, green tea and passion flower are very popular and effective.

Lavender: The essential oil Lavender is known for its relaxing properties. If you’re looking for relief during panic attacks, lavender essential oil can be rubbed on the collar bone or the temples.

Calcium and magnesium supplements are also recommended for those suffering from panic disorder. Both calcium and magnesium aid in the proper function of the nerve cells which promotes optimal brain health.

Researchers have also recommended the supplementation of Iron, as it helps to normalise stress levels. Iron has also been shown to help with depression, which many people with panic disorder may be experiencing at the same time.

Reishi Mushroom: Reishi mushroom aids relaxation and is very good for the nervous system.


  • Panic disorder is often accompanied by difficulty with breathing. It can be helpful to use breathing practices such as mindfulness and meditation in order to learn to better control the breath when it comes to stressful situations or panic attacks.
  • Stress can be a trigger of panic attacks. Taking up relaxing practices such as yoga can help to introduce relaxation and calm into a stressful lifestyle.
  • Knowledge is power. The more you know about the disorder you struggle with, the more likely you are to be able to find a solution that best works for you. Doing more research into the ways other people have recovered and lived with their panic disorder can be helpful in finding your own path to healing. Not only this, but consulting a Naturopathic Doctor could also be very helpful.

Panic Disorder

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