What Is a Panic Disorder?
A panic disorder is an anxiety disorder that is characterized by sudden attacks of fear and panic. Panic attacks may occur without a known reason, but more frequently they are triggered by fear-producing events or thoughts, such as taking an elevator or driving. Symptoms of panic attacks include rapid heartbeat, strange chest sensations, shortness of breath, dizziness, tingling, and anxiousness. Hyperventilation, agitation, and withdrawal are common results. Panic disorder is believed to be due to an abnormal activation of the body’s hormonal system, causing a sudden ‘fight or flight’ response.
How Can a Service Dog Assist With Panic Disorder?
|Symptoms||Service Dog Task||Type of Task|
|Olfactory cue||Alert to incipient anxiety or panic attack||Work|
|Increase in heart rate|
|Change in breathing pattern|
|Fear||Guide handler to a safe place||Physical|
|Fight or flight response|
|Pounding heart||Tactile or deep pressure stimulation||Physical|
|Dizziness||Brace or counterbalance handler||Physical|
|Chills||Pressure and warmth stimulation||Physical|
|Memory loss||Remind to take medication||Physical|
|Find keys or telephone||Physical|