Panic Disorder in Teens


Sudden and unpredictable onsets of acute or extreme fear that are debilitating could be signs of panic disorder in a teenager. Difficulty breathing with a racing heartbeat are often symptoms of a panic attack which can lead to Panic Disorder.

What is Panic Disorder in Teens?

Not all panic attacks indicate a panic disorder. A panic attack could be a simple fear or phobia and often nothing to worry about. A panic disorder is a little more complex and requires treatment. With panic disorder, panic attacks can occur more frequently with fewer stimuli and can last longer, up to a few hours in some cases. Calming a person with panic disorder to a normal level can also be more difficult. In Teens, panic disorder attacks are unexpected, uncontrollable and can become more intense from attack to attack. There is nothing seemingly obvious that causes the onset of intense fear and worry. In some cases fear and worry about another panic attack alone can trigger an attack.

Symptoms of Panic Disorder in Teens

Panic Disorder in teens displays many of the same symptoms as panic disorder in adults. Panic attacks are Intense periods of feeling uncomfortable with intense fear and anxiety that can last for a few minutes or up to many hours. Some of the many signs and symptoms of panic attacks that can lead to panic disorder in teens can include:

  • Palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate;
  • sweating;
  • trembling or shaking
  • sensations of shortness of breath or smothering;
  • feelings of choking;
  • chest pain or discomfort;
  • nausea or abdominal distress;
  • feeling dizzy, unsteady, light-headed, or faint;
  • chills or heat sensations;
  • paresthesia (numbness or tingling sensations);
  • derealization (feelings of unreality) or depersonalization (being detached from oneself);
  • fear of losing control or “going crazy”; and
  • fear of dying.

It is common for those who have panic attacks to feel ashamed and embarrassed. This can often make it difficult to tell others about the problem or the disorder. The panic attacks can interfere with and disrupt schooling, social activities and work and this can lead to depression and other disorders.

It should be noted that not all panic attacks will result in panic disorder. Panic disorder includes the following signs and symptoms:

  • Sudden and repeated attacks of fear;
  • feelings of being out of control during a panic attack;
  • intense worry about when the next attack will happen; and
  • fear or avoidance of places where panic attacks have occurred in the past;

Treatment for Teen Panic Disorder

With Teen Panic Disorder the primary task is to secure the correct diagnosis through a proper evaluation. The correct diagnosis is fundamental in prescribing the course of treatment that will follow. Treatment may include a combination of medication and therapy. Therapy has shown to be the most effective course of action in treating Teen Panic Disorder.

Centered Health and Teen Panic Disorder

Centered Health has a qualified and experienced team of professionals to properly and fully evaluate and treat teenagers who have been diagnosed with panic disorder and other conditions. As a specialist mental health facility, Centered Health provides individualized programs designed specifically for teenagers, delivered in a calm and relaxed atmosphere. The Centered Health team treats each case individually to ensure the very best results. Centered Health aims for long term recovery rather than simply a quick fix.

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