Panic Disorder

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
Derealization Tactile stimulation Physical
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