Panic Life

Fighting Stigma and Living with an Anxiety Disorder

Fight, Flight, or Breathe

I breathed through a panic attack and so can you. Read More

No such thing as just panic attacks.

I suspect you're a very nice person.

And this is Bipolar disease.

Panic Disorder vs. Bipolar Disorder

Panic Disorder has existed as a possible diagnosis for many years. As someone with Bipolar Disorder, they are not the same diagnosis. My suggestion would be to anyone that the seek out a professional (someone with a Ph.D. in Psychology or an M.D. in Psychiatry) that is qualified and trained to make a diagnosis using the DSM-IV.

On another note, a diagnosis is simply a guide map of sorts to assist you and your doctors in creating a treatment plan. Often, that treatment plan is similar. I've received treatment for Bipolar for 19 years, for PTSD for 10 years, and for OCD for 7 years. Usually one forms they only write Bipolar, probably because it trumps the others. But it really isn't relevant because the treatment used for all is similar. In fact, some of the medications I am prescribed are also prescribed for Migraine Aura and for other various conditions I do not have. I am in a support group with people that have a variety of both physical and mental health conditions. In the support group, we do mindfulness activities. Those are helpful to the general public, not just people with various conditions.

So Sarah's diagnosis is really just the start for all of this anyway. Altering her diagnosis doesn't really change the path or the end game. It only changes the label.

Panic Disorder

There is a documented condition called Panic Disorder. Please read this article.


I didn't say panic attacks don't exist.

I proved they exist on the Bipolar spectrum. An anxiety mutation/evolution.

You should proudly represent the Bipolar community and stop hiding behind just panic attacks.

My only point.

I am not hiding behind

I am not hiding behind anything. I run a campaign called Stigma Fighters where people are sharing their stories about living with mental illness. I have panic disorder like six million other Americans. You are more than welcome to read my story on The Huffington Post or submit to Stigma Fighters here. I would rather not get into an argument about my diagnosis since you are not my mental health professional. Thank you.


If you're not hiding then change the description of yourself.

And i'm sorry you were lied to, and this is the first time you heard the truth.

If you don't change you are helping create the stigma.

I wish you the best. And hope you decide correctly.

You are not my mental health

You are not my mental health professional, therefore you cannot make a diagnosis on the Internet.

You are wrong and obnoxious


Panic Disorder exists as a recognized disorder according to the DSM-V, the latest diagnostic manual all mental health professionals and phsyicians outside the mental health field use. Panic attacks are also recognized entities that can occur with panic disorder or in other disorders.

In fact, bipolar requires mood symptoms and in particular extremes of mood (to varying degrees, see bipolar I vs. Bipolar II) but does not require anxiety or panic as part of its symptomatology. Can people with bipolar have panic attacks or anxiety? Sure. And can people with panic attacks and anxiety have bipolar? Also sure. But the diagnoses are separate and distinct.

Those are the medical facts.

As for your assertion that Sarah, whom you do not know, has one thing vs. Another vs. Another and that she is wrong or being lied to or lying to herself or whatever? That is a number of things:
1. Wrong and rude
2. inappropriate on a site aimed at supporting and explaining mental illness
3. A form of perseveration indicative that your own mental health issues may need better treatment.

So now I will treat you with the exact level of respect you have treated sarah with your comments: please, stop with the ignorant dribble, seek more professional help than you are clearly receiving and leave Sarah (and the rest of us) alone.


Thank you for allowing me to speak.

Your decision.

I can't help everyone.

You can't help anyone, David.

You can't help anyone, David.

I relate to your piece

I started having attacks at 15/16 as well. For the longest time, about 20 years, I ignored the depression part of my bi-polar disorder and paid attention to the anxiety/manic part.

The truth is much more clinical than psychological, I think. The ay I'm wired is like sports car , and thus need constant preventative maintenance.

Some people with mental illness find excuses and have zero self-awareness about how bad they are or might be.

It seems as though you've cleared this important hurdle and now need a physician, psychiatrist and figure out how to maintain a lifestyle you can adjust to and be the best you can be.

Thank you!

I have a wonderful therapist who is helping me find coping strategies for panic. You are absolutely right about finding the right clinical team to assist with lifestyle changes. That is crucial.

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Sarah Fader is a mental illness advocate and mother of two living with
panic disorder in New York City.


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