Panic disorder: frightening but treatable

June 1, 2006

A U.S. study suggests panic disorder is a fairly common condition that can cause frightening symptoms, but yet is relatively easy to treat.

A University of Washington psychiatrist says although panic disorder can be difficult to diagnose, it can usually be resolved within two months.

The review of recent clinical research on panic disorder was conducted by Dr. Wayne Katon, professor and vice-chairman of psychiatry at the UW School of Medicine.

Katon found between 3 percent and 8 percent of patients visiting their primary-care physicians suffered from panic disorder, often resulting from major stress-inducing factors in their lives.

Panic disorder can cause symptoms such as chest and abdominal pain, a pounding or irregular heartbeat, and shortness of breath. Such alarming symptoms can often lead patients to be screened for serious ailments, such as heart attack.

"They typically go through many medical tests before their physicians accurately diagnose them," said Katon. "Panic disorder is definitely diagnosable and treatable -- people can usually be cured in four to eight weeks with either antidepressant medication or behavioral therapy, or a combination of the two."

He details his study in the current issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Brain disruptions similar across many emotional disorders

Related Stories

Brain disruptions similar across many emotional disorders

September 28, 2016

Researchers have long known that emotional disorders have a lot in common. Many often occur together, like depression and social anxiety disorder. Treatments also tend to work across multiple disorders, suggesting shared ...

Fake xanax cut with potent pain med can be a killer

August 9, 2016

(HealthDay)—At least one San Francisco-area drug user died and eight more landed in the ER in late 2015 after taking counterfeit Xanax tablets that had been cut with a powerful and dangerous opiate, a new report shows.

The steady march of the Zika virus

August 1, 2016

In the six months since Zika was declared a global public health emergency, the virus has continued its unrelenting march across the Americas, spreading to more than 40 countries and territories and stirring panic among pregnant ...

Recommended for you

Placebo sweet spot for pain relief found in brain

October 27, 2016

Scientists have identified for the first time the region in the brain responsible for the "placebo effect" in pain relief, when a fake treatment actually results in substantial reduction of pain, according to new research ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.