The experience of recurrent and often unexpected panic attacks is the main symptom required to be diagnosed with panic disorder. Panic disorder is also currently diagnosed as occurring with or without agoraphobia. Professionals who treat panic disorder, such as psychiatrists and counselors, use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition, text revised (DSM-IV-TR) to diagnosis anxiety disorders. The DSM-5, a newer edition of this handbook, is scheduled to be published in 2013. This updated version may change the current criteria used to diagnosis panic disorder and agoraphobia.
Learn more about how these changes with affect how panic disorder is diagnosed: