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How to Distinguish Panic Disorder from Panic Attacks

After repeated attacks of suddenly getting scared, followed by the rapid development of chest pain, palpitations, and a sense of feeling smothered, once a cardiac cause has been excluded, the reasonable conclusion is that this person has a panic disorder. Treatment includes both pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions. Drug therapy is indicated when there is significant impairment in daily functioning. Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) and mindfulness-based stress reduction can both be useful. Promoting a healthy lifestyle with a good diet, withholding caffeine, and engaging in exercise also help. As with all mental health-related diagnoses, stressing good sleep and hygiene is an essential part of the management program.

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