Panic Disorders

Panic Disorders services offered in Goldsboro, NC

Panic Disorders

Have you ever experienced sudden shortness of breath, anxiety, and heart palpitations? Panic disorders cause intense physical and emotional symptoms that can be difficult to understand. At Godwin Psychiatry in Goldsboro, North Carolina, board-certified psychiatrist and board-eligible internal medicine specialist Meredith Godwin, MD, treats all types of panic disorders with an evidence-based approach to care. Call today to learn more.

What are panic disorders?

Panic disorders cause overwhelming fear or anxiety that can occur without warning, often accompanied by intense physical symptoms. They cause attacks that feel uncontrollable, leading to a heightened sense of vulnerability and fear of future attacks.

Are there different types of panic disorders?

The four main types of panic disorders are:

Type I

In this type, panic attacks occur without a specific trigger and may seem to happen randomly. You experience sudden overwhelming fear or discomfort and physical symptoms like rapid heartbeat, sweating, and trembling.

Type II

This type involves panic attacks triggered by specific situations or objects. These triggers can vary widely but often lead to avoidance behaviors to prevent future panic attacks.

Type III

In type III, panic attacks accompany agoraphobia, which is a fear of being in situations where escape might be difficult or help might not be available. 

Type IV

Type IV panic disorders are the result of medical conditions or substance use. Factors such as medication side effects, withdrawal from substances, and underlying health conditions may trigger panic attacks.

What do panic disorders feel like?

During a panic attack, you may feel overwhelmed and terrified. You experience intense physical sensations like a racing heartbeat, dizziness, shortness of breath, chest pain, sweating, trembling, and a sense of impending doom or loss of control. 

Who is at risk of panic disorders?

Panic disorders can affect anyone, but certain risk factors include:

  • Being a woman
  • Genetics
  • Family history of panic disorders or anxiety disorders
  • High levels of stress or traumatic life events
  • History of childhood trauma or abuse
  • Substance abuse or addiction
  • Major life changes or significant stressors
  • Chronic medical conditions, such as heart disease or respiratory disorders
  • Neurological conditions or brain injury
  • Certain medications or treatments

Your psychiatrist at Godwin Psychiatry considers your unique risk factors when developing your panic disorder treatment.

What are the most effective treatments for panic disorders?

Godwin Psychiatry specializes in many effective treatments for panic disorders, including:

  • Medication management
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Relaxation techniques, like deep breathing exercises
  • Mindfulness
  • Lifestyle modifications, including limiting caffeine, avoiding alcohol, and healthy sleep habits
  • Support groups

Personalized care for panic disorders can help you manage your symptoms and prevent surprise panic attacks. To learn more, call Godwin Psychiatry today to schedule a panic disorder consultation.