Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a type of anxiety disorder. It goes beyond the ordinary "double-checking" and worrying that all of us do from time to time. Everybody sometimes wants to make sure the doors are locked or the oven is off. For people with OCD, these thoughts and behaviors are so magnified that they interfere with everyday routines, jobs, and relationships. For example, people with OCD have been known to wash their hands for eight hours in a day or reorganize their entire household...
It is possible to have one
panic attack after another in waves for an extended period of time. This can
seem like one continuous attack. But if you have continuous symptoms that don't go away within an hour, you probably aren't having a panic attack. You
should seek medical care right away.
Symptoms of a panic attack may
Rapid breathing (hyperventilation), shortness of breath, or a feeling
of choking or being smothered.
A pounding or racing heart or an irregular
Panic attacks may begin
without a trigger. Or they can be linked to certain situations, such as being in
large crowds of people in restaurants or stadiums. Sometimes just knowing that you'll be in a certain situation can cause severe anxiety.
who have panic attacks often learn to avoid situations that they fear
will trigger a panic attack or situations where they will not be able to escape
easily if a panic attack occurs. If this pattern of avoidance and anxiety is severe,
it can become
As many as half of people
who have panic disorder also have agoraphobia.1
Isolating yourself and avoiding social situations can interfere with your
ability to work. It can also harm your relationships, especially with your family members and
Symptoms in children
Panic attacks aren't common
in children or younger teens. But children who have panic disorder or panic
attacks often have other symptoms in addition to those listed above.
be overly afraid of common objects such as bugs.
They may worry too much about
monsters or about going to bed alone.
They may refuse to go to school or
become unusually upset when they are separated from a parent.