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Self-Screen for Panic Disorder
Thursday, 14 April 2011 01:57

If you believe that the symptoms below apply to you, it is recommended that you consider seeing a professional for a consultation to determine whether you may have Panic Disorder (with or without Agoraphobia).

Panic Disorder Criteria

  1. You experience periods of sudden intense fear or discomfort which last about 10 minutes and include four of the following:

    Shortness of breath (or feelings of being smothered)
    Dizziness or faintness
    Rapid heartbeat or palpitations
    Shaking or trembling
    Choking sensations
    Nausea or abdominal distress
    Numbness or tingling sensations
    Chest pain or tightness
    Chills or flushes
    Feelings of everything being strange or unreal
    Fear of dying (via suffocation, heart attack, etc.)
    Fear of going crazy or losing control in some way

    (Note: In Panic Disorder, the above symptoms may subside, but strong feelings of anxiety may continue for several hours afterwards)
  2. The panic attacks (at least some of them) occur unexpectedly or are spontaneous, and are not necessarily triggered by any specific situations.
  3. Some of your attacks may be only occasional with no long-term impact on your life, or may occur in groups with a negative impact on your life.
  4. Some of your attacks may occur during sleep.

    (NOTE: Answering 'yes' to either of the next two criteria may indicate that you also suffer from Agoraphobia together with your panic attacks)
  5. You avoid going many (or any) places on your own, or avoid being alone, for fear of having a panic attack with no one there to assist you.
  6. You avoid going distances from home, regardless of whether or not someone is there to accompany you. The likelihood of your having a panic attack increases with your distance from home.

    (NOTE: The following criteria may sometimes be seen in Agoraphobia. Do any of them apply to you as well?)
  7. When traveling by car, you must do all (or most of) the driving so that you can be in control of the car in case you have to pull over or turn back.
  8. Your ability to travel is limited because you fear to drive over bridges or through tunnels.
  9. When driving on highways, you must drive in the right-hand lane, in case you feel anxious and have to pull over.
  10. You are unable to travel by bus or train because of an inability to get off as soon as you feel anxious.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 June 2011 23:16


Please Note: Then information in this site is presented as a public service to our patients and friends. It is not a substitute for a careful evaluation by a qualified mental health professional.  If you are already under treatment, do not make any changes in your regimen without consulting your doctor.

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