Anxiety and panic attacks can be a symptom of bipolar disorder. There is medical evidence that shows that bipolar disorder and panic disorder can coexist. Some research deems that the two are genetically related. It is even more common for a family with multiple bipolar disorder sufferers to have coexisting symptoms of panic and anxiety disorder.

So, what are panic attacks? Panic attacks are a feeling of terror that can happen at any moment. During the panic attack, the person may feel as though they’re going to have a heart attack or even die.

Here are some signs and symptoms that you may suffer from panic or anxiety attacks.

1. Racing palpitating heartbeat

2. Sense of terror

3. Feeling weak, dizzy, lightheadedness

4. Chest pains

5. Having difficulty breathing

6. Numb or tingly feelings in hands and fingers

7. Having chills or hot flashes

8. Feeling loss of control

One key factor to panic disorder is that attacks happen without warning and the panic attack sufferer has no way to stop it. The fear induced by these attacks is much greater than the situation and is often unrelated. The attacks last for several minutes, but can reoccur for hours.

Panic attacks are frightening, but not dangerous. The attacks are scary because the sufferer feels out of control and sometimes as though they’re going to die. The effects of panic disorder can worsen because they can lead to other things such as drug and alcohol abuse, medical complications, phobias and suicide. Panic attacks can impact people in varying ways, with some feeling a slight disturbance on their life while others want to isolate themselves and stay sheltered from the rest of the world.

If you have bipolar disorder and feel you have panic disorder symptoms as well, talk with your mental health professional for a proper diagnosis and the best way to treat the issue.

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