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How Panic Affects Us in The 21st Century


(Panic disorder is a regular accordance in the modern world this is particularly felt by women however there are a multitude of ways to manage panic disorder after diagnosis.)


How modern panic presents itself


Anxiety disorders are one of the most prevalent conditions worldwide in the 21st century. In 2019, 301 million people were experiencing life with an anxiety disorder of some kind. It is important to note that 58 million of them were children and young adults.


Panic is not only a mental challenge but a physical one. When panic occurs, symptoms can present themselves in many forms for eg: disassociation, chest pain, rapid heart beat, and the overwhelming fear of death. All of these can occur separately or collectively.


The impact of this on a person's daily life can often be profound:

"Still half asleep, I suddenly noticed how cold I was. Shaking actually. I noticed my hands were trembling. I tucked myself in under my sweater and tried to take some deep breaths. It didn’t help. I looked down to find my legs shaking terribly as well. Not wanting to disturb the man sitting next to me, I got up and locked myself in the bathroom. I thought I was having a seizure." -Kathleen Munro

It is imperative that a proper diagnosis is carried out as quickly as possible. A panic disorder diagnosis might not be positive however, this can provide clarity and opportunity for treatment for many people. If left undiagnosed or improperly treated, this may lead to further mental health issues and worse quality of life.


How common is panic in modern society?


Initially we identified that anxiety and panic disorders are global phenomenon however, it is urgent that we understand the most vulnerable. Studies have shown that panic disorder is 2.5x more prevalent in women than men. As women get older the prevalence of panic disorder decreases but is still far higher than men. Furthermore, the symptoms within panic disorder also tend to be more keenly felt amongst women, this includes shortness of breath, feeling faint, feeling smothered, heart palpitations and overall nausea.


What mechanisms cause panic disorder?


Within the realm of panic, there is not one set trigger. There can a multitude of experiences and situations that encourage panic and anxiety. However, traumatic circumstances or very stressful life experiences can be highly linked to panic disorder. Bereavement, abuse or life changing illness or injury are some examples. It is also important to acknowledge the genetic factors that influence panic disorder, which briefly can be explained by an imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain. It is important to understand there is an interplay between external and genetic factors that influence panic disorder.


How can I manage panic?


There are a multitude of ways to help treat panic disorder, ranging from physical activities to medication based solutions. These pathways mainly talking therapies, medication and different types of physical activity.


Talking therapies have been identified as a affect method of treating panic disorder and other types of mental health conditions. During therapy sessions it is a confidential private space where a professional will help you find answers to your problems in a non judgemental manor.


Alternative treatments include medicine, these take the form of antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). Different medications that help with panic also include Beta blockers. Physical activity is beneficial for panic disorder because it diverts your attention away from panic.


Additionally, by doing regular exercise this lowers the body's muscle tension reducing the physical symptoms of panic. By doing activity regularly this increases your heart rate which allows beneficial anti-anxiety neurochemicals, this includes serotonin. Exercising regularly builds up a individuals resilience for tough situations.


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