Dealing With Stressors and Panic Disorder

Living with panic disorder can result in many unique stressors and cause disruption across various aspects of one’s life. A person’s career may be negatively impacted, relationships may suffer, and self-esteem may be reduced. Simple day-to-day tasks can also become a struggle, as people with anxiety disorders are prone to worry, difficulty concentrating, and frequent feelings of apprehension.

The following list contains information on some of the most common stressors faced by panic disorder sufferers:

Relationship Stress

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Being diagnosed with panic disorder can have a profound effect on your relationships. There are numerous ways in which your symptoms can get in the way of your social connections. For instance, loved ones may find it hard to relate to your feelings of overwhelming anxiety and panic attacks, and fears and avoidance behaviors associated with agoraphobia can prevent you from spending quality time with family and friends.

Those closest to you are also subject to feeling the strain caused by your condition. Supportive friends and family may also feel the burden of caregiver stress.

You may not know how to explain your panic disorder to others, which can leave loved ones feeling confused and possibly even frustrated.

Even though panic disorder can cause a great deal of stress in your relationships, social support is one of the most valuable aspects of your recovery process. Loved ones can provide you with the encouragement you need to deal with your condition. By building your support network, you may be able to get past feelings of loneliness and isolation and maintain healthy relationships.

Work Stress

man stressed at work
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Aside from close friends and family, panic disorder can also impact your professional relationships. Many people with this condition keep their symptoms a secret, finding it hard to tell others about their disorder. Unfortunately, there are many stereotypes and myths about panic disorder that may contribute to negative judgments from coworkers.

Anxiety and other symptoms can also make it difficult to focus on your work tasks. It can be challenging to concentrate on work when you are constantly worrying, focused on fears, or concerned about when your next panic attack will strike. To manage your symptoms while on the job, first identify your triggers and plan ahead for strategies to get through your panic attacks, manage your anxiety, and reduce your worry.

Panic Disorder and Sleep

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Sleep disturbances are a common issue for people with anxiety disorders. For example, you may find that anxiety and panic attacks keep you from falling asleep. Perhaps fearful and worrisome thoughts keep you from staying asleep throughout the night, and problems with getting enough rest can spill over into the day next, causing a lot of morning anxiety. Additionally, stress experienced throughout the day can also contribute to sleep issues at night.

To reduce nighttime anxiety, try practicing better sleep hygiene. This may include setting enough time aside for the proper amount of sleep and keeping a quiet environment. To get past morning anxiety, learn some calming relaxation techniques, such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, or yoga. Also, use stress management techniques to combat stress felt throughout your day.

Having panic disorder often comes with many extra stressors. However, there are numerous treatment options available for panic disorder that can help you deal with these additional stressors. Your doctor or therapist will be able to assist you in creating a treatment plan that will address ways to improve your overall quality of life.

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