Panic disorders are spontaneous, unexpected panic attacks that can be identified by the frequency of these attacks which varies from several per day to only a few attacks per year. Panic disorder is often defined by the presence or absence of agoraphobia. Agoraphobia is defined as fear of places or situations where it may be difficult or embarrassing to escape from.
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR) criteria for panic disorder include:-
Panic attacks are periods of intense anxiety in which symptoms occur suddenly and progress rapidly within 10 minutes after the onset of symptoms. To establish the diagnosis of panic disorder, panic attacks should not be resulting directly or physiologically from drug use, medical conditions, or other psychiatric disorders.
- Having panic attacks alongwith more than one month of subsequent persistent worry about having another attack.
- Subsequent persistent worry about consequences of the attack.
- Significant behavioral changes in relation with the attack.