Panic disorder is a type of anxiety disorder. People with this condition may become anxious to the extent that their feelings interfere with daily life. While most people have experienced a panic attack brought on by particular events or situations, the attacks in panic disorder often develop suddenly and for no apparent reason.
Panic disorder affects about 4% of Canadians, and is twice as likely in women as in men. The disorder can appear at any age, but it most commonly appears in young adults.
The risk of developing a panic disorder is increased if there is a family history of panic attacks or disorders, a history of abuse, the experience of a traumatic event, the experience of high levels of stress, and the need to adapt to significant changes in your life.