Panic disorder is a condition characterised by recurring and regular panic attacks. People who suffer from panic disorder will experience frequent intense surges of terror and anxiety, which can strike suddenly without warning. In between attacks sufferers may also constantly worry about further attacks and may fret over the symptoms that they trigger, including dizziness, chest pains and heart palpitations.
It is due to the intensity of these panic attack symptoms – particularly the feelings of fear and terror – that many people with panic disorder are unable to relax between attacks. Constantly worrying about when another attack will occur creates a cycle of living in ‘fear of fear’, which reinforces panic and anxiety. The emotional toll of this anticipatory anxiety can negatively impact self-confidence and may greatly disrupt a person’s ability to function normally on a day-to-day basis.