Episodes are recurrent, and fear of attacks leads to significant behavioral changes, such as avoidance of specific situations or locations and/or personality changes. Other symptoms experienced in between attacks include headache, diarrhea, insomnia, fatigue, and ruminations.
Panic disorder is a common psychiatric disorder that demonstrates significant heredity. Women are more likely to be affected than men. The average age of onset is 24 years, with most patients developing the condition between the ages of 18 and 45 years. Over 80% of patients have another psychiatric disorder, most often a mood disorder, such as depression, or substance use disorder. Common comorbid medical conditions include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), irritable bowel syndrome, migraines, restless legs syndrome, and asthma. Patients are also at increased risk for suicide.
Patients with this disorder may have an increased risk of various general medical conditions.
F41.0 – Panic disorder [episodic paroxysmal anxiety]
371631005 – Panic disorder
Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls
- Acute coronary syndrome
- Coronary artery disease
- Myocardial infarction
- Cardiac arrhythmias, such as atrial fibrillation
- Pulmonary embolus
- Transient ischemic attack
- Seizure disorder (see seizure)