A few years ago, I developed a bad case of anxiety. I'm not sure if it began because I moved away from my family and was alone or if it began as a side affect of my depression, but I knew that I didn't like the feeling. Due to the anxiety, I'd end up panicking out of fear, which would make me feel even worse. Since I felt anxious so often and the attacks came just as frequently, I started questioning if this fit the mold of signs you might have a panic disorder.
To be honest, I was too scared to go to consult a doctor about my potential panic disorder. So instead, I researched anxiety and panic attacks, and was able to find ways to decrease the frequency of both. Although I still have moments where I feel panic taking over, I've learned some techniques to help me over the hump. I still haven't talked to a doctor, and wouldn't necessarily encourage others to do the same. Sometimes medical intervention is required, and that's nothing to be ashamed of.
If you're prone to anxiety or have had a few panic attacks, these nine signs may help you determine whether or not you could be living with panic disorder. That being said, be sure to head to your doctor for a proper diagnosis
1. You Have An Increased Heart Rate
According to Psychology Today, a symptom of panic disorder is having an increased heart rate. Since panic disorder is a series of recurrent unexpected panic attacks, it's normal to think that this would be a sign of the disorder, too.
2. You Have Chest Pain Or Discomfort
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America noted that another symptom of the disorder is having chest pains or discomfort. From my personal experience, when having a panic attack, it can often feel as if your chest is caving in or that there are sharp pains in them. It can be extremely uncomfortable and a little scary.
3. You Have An Intense Fear Of Dread
According to WebMd, an intense fear of dread is another symptom you should be taking note of, too. The dread could be of having future attacks or just about yourself in general.
4. You're Always Feeling Dizzy Or Faint
According to Psychology Today, if you're always feeling dizzy or faint, you may be suffering from panic disorder. That being said, there are other things that can make you feel faint or dizzy, so make sure it's not caused by anything else before assuming it's due to the disorder
5. You Fear You're Losing Control
WebMD also noted that if you feel as if you're losing control or about to die, it could be due to panic disorder. I've personally had this feeling (more so the former than the latter) and it's not warming. I've literally had to find a way to calm myself or call someone who could.
6. You Feel Detached From Yourself
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America feeling detached from yourself or from reality is another symptom. It's difficult to put this feeling in words, but those who have suffered from anxiety will be able to relate.
7. You're Constantly Trembling Or Shaking
Psychology Today noted that constantly trembling or shaking is a common symptom of panic disorder. This feeling can be similar to how you would feel if you drink too much caffeine from coffee, soda, or an energy drink.
8. You Have Numbness Or A Tingling Sensation
Numbness and tingling in your fingers and toes is a panic disorder symptom you should look out for, according to WebMD. This symptom could be caused by an abnormality in the brain or substance abuse.
9. You Feel As If You're Choking Or Being Smothered
If you often feel smothered or as if you're choking, this could be due to panic disorder, according to The Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Stressful events in your life could very well be the cause of this particular feeling.