Panic Disorder: Diagnosis

A diagnosis of panic disorder often occurs only after medical explanations for signs and symptoms, as well as other psychiatric disorders—including OCD and PTSD—are exhausted. A professional will diagnose panic disorder if attacks are recurrent, and unexpected, and if one attack is followed in the ensuing months by other signs including: a preoccupation with the possibility of further attacks; fear of the effects of an attack, including the feeling of having a heart attack or “going crazy” and a considerable change from normal behavior following the attacks, such as avoiding places associated with them.