What is a panic disorder test?
Panic disorder is a condition in which you have frequent panic attacks. A panic attack is a sudden episode of intense fear and anxiety. In addition to emotional distress, a panic attack can cause physical symptoms. These include chest pain, rapid heartbeat, and shortness of breath. During a panic attack, some people think they are having a heart attack. A panic attack can last anywhere from a few minutes to over an hour.
Some panic attacks happen in response to a stressful or scary situation, such as a car accident. Other attacks happen without a clear reason. Panic attacks are common, affecting at least 11% of adults each year. Many people have one or two attacks in their lifetime and recover without treatment.
But if you have repeated, unexpected panic attacks and are in constant fear of getting a panic attack, you may have panic disorder. Panic disorder is rare. It only affects 2 to 3 percent of adults each year. It’s twice as common in women than in men.
While panic disorder is not life-threatening, it can be upsetting and affect your quality of life. If left untreated, it can lead to other serious problems, including depression and substance use. A panic disorder test can help diagnose the condition so you can get the right treatment.
Other names: panic disorder screening