How Common is Panic Disorder?

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In the U.S. alone, according to statistics, over 2.5 million people suffer from panic attacks, that’s roughly 1 in every 100 people. However, the exact number may be far greater as many people with panic disorder often suffer in silence. Also it’s not uncommon for panic attacks to be misdiagnosed as something completely different…

Indeed, recent studies from Canada indicate that the number of people suffering from panic is closer to 1 in 30 people. Other research shows that the most common symptom of panic attacks is a rapid pounding heart, but many other symptoms were also reported:

87% self-reported palpitations (extra heartbeats) in panic attacks

82% self-reported fear of loss of control symptoms in panic attacks

71% self-reported dizziness or fainting-like symptoms in panic attacks

64% self-reported sweating symptoms in panic attacks

62% self-reported breathing difficulty symptoms in panic attacks

49% self-reported detachment with reality type symptoms in panic attacks

44% self-reported fear of dying type symptoms in panic attacks

42% self-reported paresthesia/tingling/numbness symptoms in panic attacks

33% self-reported nausea or abdominal symptoms in panic attacks

33% self-reported “going crazy” type symptoms in panic attacks

18% self-reported “choking” type symptoms in panic attacks

Typically women are twice as likely to suffer anxiety attacks than men, and anxiety attacks are more likely to occur in 17 to 50 year olds, typically starting between the ages of 25 and 33. Panic disorder usually occurs after a pro-longed period of stress or very sudden burst of stress, such as a family death or separation.

It seems panic is more likely to affect single people than those in a relationship. Finally, despite often crippling side effects of panic attacks, many sufferers manage to hold to regular work.

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