Friday, February 16, 2007

Panic Disorder And John Mayer

I'm a big John Mayer fan.

Not just because he can play the guitar like nobody's business. . .

but because he has spoken about his experiences with Panic Disorder.

Mayer started experiencing crippling panic attacks at age seventeen.

Panic disorder is characterized by unexpected and repeated episodes of intense fear accompanied by physical symptoms. Individuals experience attacks on a regular basis—sometimes monthly, weekly or daily. Because of the constant fear of having another panic attack - also known as "anticipatory anxiety"- individuals with Panic Disorder are often uncomfortable in social situations.

Panic attacks can occur at any time, even during sleep. An attack generally peaks within 10 minutes, but some symptoms may last much longer.

Signs and symptoms may include:

*Rapid heart rate
*Shortness of breath and hyperventilation
*Hot flashes
*Stomach pain
*Chest pain
*Tightness in your throat
*Trouble swallowing
*Feelings of dread
*A sense of impending death

Research suggests that brain structure, genetics, stress and certain biochemical factors in the body's fight-flight response play a role in Panic Disorder. It is important to note that individuals who experience Panic Disorder may also have other co-existing disorders (i.e. phobias, depression, IBS, susbstance abuse).

In my opinion, Mayer may experience depression in addition to his Panic Disorder. If you listen to his music, many of his songs have a depressive texture.