Resources for Panic Disorder / Anxiety Disorders

I had my first Panic Attack in June of 1984. At the time, the term "Panic Disorder" did not yet exist.
Because of this, my condition went undiagnosed for 12 years. Worse yet, I went through a series of misdiagnoses.
I was told, by different Doctors, at different times, that the symptoms that I had been experiencing were
caused by a heart attack, stroke, brain tumor - the list is endless. In fact, so little was known about this
illness that once I discovered that it was actually Panic Disorder, I went to a Psychiatrist.
When I told him that I had PD, he asked me "What's that?"

According to the American Psychiatric Association, Panic attacks are usually classified as being part of panic
disorder if they occur more than once and are accompanied by at least four of the following symptoms:

Sweating
Shortness of breath
Heart beating very rapidly
Chest pain
Feeling unsteady
Choking or smothering sensations
Numbness or tingling
Hot or cold flashes
Faintness
Trembling or shaking
Nausea or stomach pains
Feelings of unreality
Fears of losing control, dying, or "going crazy"

I have all but the last symptom.

Over the years, I have been prescribed many medications. Some have worked better than others,
some did nothing, some had bad side effects. The medications that I am currently on work fairly well,
though I still have attacks.

Despite having severe Panic Disorder, I have beaten the associated Agoraphobia, and achieved several advanced
College Degrees. I have never stopped producing Art (in fact, I have painted Panic Disorder), and now have
paintings on four continents.

And still people say:

dontpanic

If only they knew....

It is my hope that the information found at the websites linked below will help
other people with PD or related disorders find the help that they need.

Dennis P. McCann

APA
APA
AACAP
Panic Anxiety
PDI
Medline
IMH
AtHealth
Anxiety Panic Hub
About Panic and Anxiety NIMH
MedicineNet HW NPAD
Anxiety-L
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