Associated Conditions for Panic disorder
Excerpts on associated medical conditions for Panic disorder:
Panic Disorder: NWHIC (Excerpt)
Panic disorder is often accompanied by other conditions such as
depression or alcoholism, and may spawn phobias, which can develop in
places or situations where panic attacks have occurred. For example, if a
panic attack strikes while you’re riding in an elevator, you may develop a
fear of elevators and perhaps start avoiding them. (Source: excerpt from Panic Disorder: NWHIC)
Getting Treatment for Panic Disorder: NIMH (Excerpt)
Many people with panic disorder also suffer from depression—feelings of
intense sadness, even hopelessness. Depression is accompanied by an
impaired ability to think, concentrate, and enjoy the normal pleasures of
life. Be sure to make your doctor aware of these symptoms as well. If you
have been drinking or using drugs to try to control your symptoms, let
your doctor know about that too.
(Source: excerpt from Getting Treatment for Panic Disorder: NIMH)
Facts about Panic Disorder: NIMH (Excerpt)
shows that panic disorder can coexist with other disorders, most often
depression and substance abuse. About 30% of people with panic disorder
abuse alcohol and 17% abuse drugs, such as cocaine and marijuana, in
unsuccessful attempts to alleviate the anguish and distress caused by
their condition. Appropriate diagnosis and treatment of other disorders
such as substance abuse or depression are important to successfully treat
(Source: excerpt from Facts about Panic Disorder: NIMH)
Understanding Panic Disorder: NIMH (Excerpt)
The following are among the conditions frequently found
to coexist with panic disorder:
Simple Phobias. People with panic disorder often develop
irrational fears of specific events or situations that they associate with
the possibility of having a panic attack. Fear of heights and fear of
crossing bridges are examples of simple phobias. Generally, these fears
can be resolved through repeated exposure to the dreaded situations, while
practicing specific cognitive-behavioral techniques to become less
sensitive to them.
Social Phobia. This is a persistent dread of situations
in which the person is exposed to possible scrutiny by others and fears
acting in a way that will be embarrassing or humiliating. Social phobia
can be treated effectively with cognitive-behavioral therapy or
medications, or both.
Depression. About half of panic disorder patients will
have an episode of clinical depression sometime during their lives. Major
depression is marked by persistent sadness or feelings of emptiness, a
sense of hopelessness, and other symptoms.
When major depression occurs, it can be treated effectively with one of
several antidepressant drugs, or, depending on its severity, by
Symptoms of Depression
- Persistent sadness or feelings of emptiness
- A sense of hopelessness
- Feelings of guilt
- Problems sleeping
- Loss of interest or pleasure in ordinary activities
- Fatigue or decreased energy
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering, and making decisions
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). In OCD, a
person becomes trapped in a pattern of repetitive thoughts and behaviors
that are senseless and distressing but extremely difficult to overcome.
Such rituals as counting, prolonged handwashing, and repeatedly checking
for danger may occupy much of the person's time and interfere with other
activities. Today, OCD can be treated effectively with medications or
Alcohol Abuse. About 30 percent of people with panic
disorder abuse alcohol. A person who has alcoholism in addition to panic
disorder needs specialized care for the alcoholism along with treatment
for the panic disorder. Often the alcoholism will be treated first.
Drug Abuse. As in the case of alcoholism, drug abuse is
more common in people with panic disorder than in the population at large.
In fact, about 17 percent of people with panic disorder abuse drugs. The
drug problems often need to be addressed prior to treatment for panic
Suicidal Tendencies. Recent studies in the general
population have suggested that suicide attempts are more common among
people who have panic attacks than among those who do not have a mental
disorder. Also, it appears that people who have both panic disorder and
depression are at elevated risk for suicide. (However, anxiety disorder
experts who have treated many patients emphasize that it is extremely
unlikely that anyone would attempt to harm himself or herself during a
Anyone who is considering suicide needs immediate attention from a
mental health professional or from a school counselor, physician, or
member of the clergy. With appropriate help and treatment, it is possible
to overcome suicidal tendencies.
There are also certain physical conditions that are often associated
with panic disorder:
Irritable Bowel Syndrome. The person with this syndrome
experiences intermittent bouts of gastrointestinal cramps and diarrhea or
constipation, often occurring during a period of stress. Because the
symptoms are so pronounced, panic disorder is often not diagnosed when it
occurs in a person with irritable bowel syndrome.
Mitral Valve Prolapse. This condition involves a defect
in the mitral valve, which separates the two chambers on the left side of
the heart. Each time the heart muscle contracts in people with this
condition, tissue in the mitral valve is pushed for an instant into the
wrong chamber. The person with the disorder may experience chest pain,
rapid heartbeat, breathing difficulties, and headache. People with mitral
valve prolapse may be at higher than usual risk of having panic disorder,
but many experts are not convinced this apparent association is real. (Source: excerpt from Understanding Panic Disorder: NIMH)
List of associated medical conditions for Panic disorder:
The list of conditions mentioned by various sources
as associated with Panic disorder includes:
About associated conditions for Panic disorder:
Associated conditions are those which appear
statistically related, but do not have
a clear cause or effect relationship.
Whereas the complications
are caused by Panic disorder,
and underlying causes
may be causes of Panic disorder,
the following list shows associated conditions
that simply appear with higher frequency in people
who have Panic disorder.
In some cases, there may be overlap
between this list and risk factors
for Panic disorder.
People with Panic disorder may be more likely to
get a condition on the list of associated conditions,
or the reverse may be true, or both.
Whether they are causes of, caused by, or simply
coincidentally related to Panic disorder
is not always clear.
For general information,
see Associated Condition Misdiagnosis.