• Panic Disorder

    Panic causes tunnel vision. Calm acceptance of danger allows us to more easily assess the situation and see the options.

    - Simon Sinek

  • Panic Disorder

    If you have ever felt suddenly overwhelmed with feelings of fear or anxiety that last for minutes on end, you may have experienced a panic attack. If you regularly find yourself gripped by these feelings you cannot control, you may have panic disorder. Not everyone who has a panic attack has panic disorder—but if you do, it is important to recognize and seek out proper treatment.

    Like all anxiety disorders, panic disorder can slowly diminish a person’s quality of life. If you are concerned you may have panic disorder, there are a few key indicators that may help you better understand your feelings and gain a sense of control over what can otherwise be a frightening experience.

    As the name suggests, panic disorder is expressed in panic attacks which occur without warning, accompanied by sudden feelings of terror, dread, or doom. These attacks are characterized by a number of physical symptoms that range from shortness of breath to sweating or chills to a racing heart, stomach pain, and

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      nausea. Panic attacks are often unpredictable in nature—they can strike at any moment and last for several minutes or longer. This can lead to a feeling of deep dread in individuals who suffer them, as they never know when they may succumb to another attack. This not infrequently leads to “phobophobia” which is the fear of having another attack, which in and of itself can bring on another attack, leading to an accelerating cycle that begins to destroy any sense of control over one’s life or destiny. Panic attacks lead to a higher rate of suicide attempts, so the earlier one receives treatment, the better.

      Certain genes may be associated with a higher rate of developing panic attacks, including one of the “orchid genes”—COMT Met/Met.

      If this sounds familiar, we encourage you to reach out to one of our psychiatrists at Potomac Psychiatry for a consultation. Medication can rapidly and effectively reduce the frequency and intensity of these devastating attacks, while the underlying causes that drive them are identified and solved, which can include genetic testing.

      Our offices are conveniently accessible from the following communities:

      Maryland (MD):
      Bethesda 20814 - Bethesda 20816 - Bethesda 20817 - Chevy Chase 20815 - Colesville 20904 - Cabin John 20815 - Glen Echo 20812 - Gaithersburg 20855 - Gaithersburg 20877- Gaithersburg 20878 - Gaithersburg 20879 - Garrett Park 20896 - Kensington 20895 - Montgomery Village 20886 - Olney 20830 - Olney 20832 - Potomac 20854 - Potomac 20859 - Rockville 20850 - Rockville 20852 - Rockville 20853 - Silver Spring 20903 - Silver Spring 20905 - Silver Spring 20906 - Silver Spring 20910 - Takoma Park 20912 - Wheaton 20902

      Washington DC:
      Crestwood 20011- North Capitol Hill 20002 - Cathedral Heights 20016 - American University Park 20016 - Columbia Heights 20010 - Mount Pleasant 20010 - Downtown 20036 - Dupont Circle 20009 - Logan Circle 20005- Adams Morgan 20009 - Chevy Chase 20015 - Georgetown 20007 - Cleveland Park 20008 - Foggy Bottom 20037 - Rock Creek Park - Woodley Park 20008 - Tenleytown 20016

      Northern Virginia:
      McLean 22101- McLean 22102 - McLean 22106 - Great Falls 22066 - Arlington 22201 - Arlington 22202 - Arlington 22203 - Arlington 22205 - Falls Church 22041 - Vienna 22181 - Alexandria 22314