-- Question: What are the symptoms of panic disorder?
Answer: Panic disorder is a particularly intense and painful form of anxiety disorder. The patient, rather than experiencing general, low-level worry, butterflies in the stomach or a knot in the stomach, has the sense of something mounting and taking him or her over.
Sometimes it can really feel like the patient is having a heart attack. The patient will experience rapid heart beat, pounding heart beat, a sense of pain in the chest, a sense of impending doom. Patients will report that they feel like they're dying, they might flush, their hands might tingle, their lips might tingle or go numb.
It's an extremely frightening experience to have a panic attack. And the problem with panic attacks is they feed on themselves. Once you've had a panic attack, and most patients will be able to tell you the first time and place they ever had one because it's such a vivid memory, they will have more just sometimes by thinking about that first panic attack that they had.